Weatherford Democrat

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February 25, 2014

County GOP chair denies taking sides in primary

Two Republican JP candidates believe Prince intentionally tried to harm their election chances with email about their voting histories

(Continued)

“I have to vote within my religious and ethical beliefs and cannot vote blindly for a person,” Hataway said. “I have always educated myself on all the candidates running for office and I could not ignore any personal knowledge I may have had about a candidate.”

“I had people repeatedly ask me to check the primary voting records of the candidates,” Prince told the Democrat Tuesday. “And, to be perfectly honest, I was appalled that we had two whose primary voting history aligned them with the Democratic party in our database.”

Had the men participated in more Republican primaries than Democratic primaries, the program she uses would have showed the candidates as Republican, according to Prince.

“[I] didn’t take sides,” Prince said. “I provided information and I encouraged voters to discuss the issue with them.”

“I provided the people who receive our emails the contact information to address the issue with the candidates if they so chose,” Prince said in response to the complaint that she had not provide the candidates an opportunity to explain their voting history in the same forum.

There are no rules that say whether or not a county party chair may support candidates during the primary, according to Prince.

“There are county chairs across that state that believe that they should have an endorsement in every race and there are county chairs across the state that are completely neutral,” Prince said. “I am somewhere in between. I generally do not publicly endorse in the primary but I have been known to.”

“The real purpose of the local party is to register, educate and turnout voters,” Prince said. “And part of my job as county chair is to educate voters with information that they may or may not have readily available on their own. This is one of those times. They could go to the elections office and get the voting history of each of these candidates but that’s kind of tedious for each voter to go and get the voting history of each of these candidates.”

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