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Wayne County Republican committee members resign after Rep. Tenney endorsement; former member talks about decision

A recent announcement by the Wayne County Republican Committee endorsing Rep. Claudia Tenney for the NY-24 Congressional primary has stirred controversy.

Steve Dietl, a former committee member, criticized the endorsement process, claiming it lacked democratic principles and did not reflect the will of the party’s voters.

“You may suppose that this endorsement was based on a democratic vote of the party committee members in an official convention sense but you would be wrong. I will note that Congresswoman Tenney was present at this meeting and the Chair stated early in the meeting that the NY-24 congressional district was off limits for this meeting because the district is currently in question by the legislature,” a statement he posted to Facebook began.

According to Dietl, a small group of committee leaders made the decision, disregarding the previous primary results where Mario Fratto, Tenney’s opponent, received significant support from Wayne County Republicans.

“The chair and a small group of inner circle committee members made and passed a motion, at the closing of the convention, that the Wayne County Republican Committee will, from this time forward, ‘automatically endorse all INCUMBENTS for all county wide races’. Forget the fact that this might compel the committee to support undeserving or under-performing candidates, but it also is undemocratic. As a member (now former member as Peg and I have resigned) my role is to represent the values, priorities and will of the registered Republican voters in my Town Of Walworth and election district 3,” he continued.

Mario Fratto, challenging Tenney for the congressional seat, expressed his commitment to representing the voters’ values. He emphasized that his previous victory in the Wayne County Republican Primary was a testament to his alignment with the electorate’s values.

Dietl agreed, noting that while it’s sometimes difficult to read the will of the people polls are the best indicator.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to know the will of the voters but, in this case, we have the best poll one could want,” he continued. “3,768 Republicans voted in the August 2022 NY-24 congressional primary and Wayne County Republicans favored Mario Fratto over Claudia Tenney by 22%. It was not even close. 14 out of 15 towns in Wayne County voted for Mario Fratto over Rep. Claudia Tenney. In the county chairman’s own town of Arcadia, Fratto was favored by 36%. The Wayne County Republican Committee has proven they do not represent the Republican voters of Wayne County nor do they care what they think.”