Opinion: Campbell County GOP and the Great Divide

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Written by Campsprings Republican Party Precinct Captain Deb Whitacre

The Campbell County Republican Party is run by a county committee of precinct captains. Each precinct is ideally represented by a Captain, Co-Captain, and Youth Captain.

Currently, ninety-five Captains represent 66 precincts in Campbell County. Each county reorganizes their party through elections of precinct officers who elect the board and determine how the party will be run following the Presidential election.

Because the Republican Party platform most closely aligns with a biblical worldview that attracts Christians, one must wonder how there could be such a great divide between the Campbell County Captains of the Republican Party over the petition to remove the Chairman of the board, Anna Zinkhon. The small group that has been actively promoting her removal does so at the expense of unity in working towards the goals of the Campbell County Republican Party: we should be working to ensure election integrity, work to elevate the most qualified Republican candidates, educate the Campbell County electorate on the core principles of the CCRP, seek to involve more of the Campbell County electorate in conservative political issues, and fundraise during special events. Progress had been achieved in all these areas until a group of captains decided they wanted Chairman Zinkhon removed. I happen to be in a group of captains that believes the grievances are grossly exaggerated or fictitious and nothing that would warrant the removal of our leader, especially when so much work is needed for the upcoming gubernatorial election and the 2024 Presidential election.

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Because of the February petition to remove Chairman Zinkhon, the party has been unable to move forward on completing its goals. What has anyone accomplished? The party in this country, including leadership, has been completely tied up in conflict. Instead of having a positive influence on our culture, which ultimately affects politics, we have taken our eyes off the prize. All that we do as Christians should be for the glory of God, and that includes how we influence our culture and politics. I would love to know how laughing, interrupting, jeering, monopolizing meetings, and disdainful behavior during meetings has produced positive results? I have watched many interested Republicans and captains walk out of meetings because of continual bad behavior by several captains.

From the very first meeting, it seems that different factions of people have attended the bi-monthly meetings in order to serve their own self-interest. Some called Chairman Zinkhon a Nazi for requiring precinct Captains to wear wristbands due to the need of distinguishing voting captains. Do we have people in our party who don’t like voter identification? The wristbands simply indicate who can vote. Anyone can attend a county Republican meeting, but only Captains can speak on the topics of business along with vote during the business portion of the meeting. Unhappy non captains have loudly grumbled that they couldn’t voice their opinions during the business portion of the meeting. Later, some grumbled over captains being removed due to residency issues and feel that appointed precinct captains shouldn’t be vetted. During the reorganization, Captains are elected by the community where they are known. My opinion may not be worth much, but it seems like Captains should know more about someone desiring to be a captain who will be appointed to a precinct in which the community doesn’t know him/her. After the primaries, Chairman Zinkhon was blamed by those who lost their elections because the party did not endorse candidates prior to the primary elections. The voters chose who would represent them instead. None of these reasons are impeachable offenses. Some of these people are driving this removal process. It seems that there are a lot of “personal” reasons for wanting Chairman Zinkhon removed.

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We asked two of these members to provide in writing why they wanted to remove Chairman Zinkhon. We finally received those grievances in July. As I stated earlier, most are exaggerations, taken out of context, or simply not true. If even one grievance in their list is untrue, then the entire list is unbelievable.
Chairman Zinkhon has admitted that she has made mistakes along the way. Regardless, Chairman Zinkhon has boldly persevered as a leader. She has held bi-monthly meetings until last February. In the petitioners’ grievances, they claim Chairman Zinkhon has not held quarterly meetings, which was required by RPK rules. In over two years, she missed one quarterly meeting due to this conflict while waiting to hear from RPK. They also claimed she has accomplished nothing in her two years as chairman, which is not true. She formed several committees who worked on voter integrity, two fund raising events, a county picnic, education, and helped to get people elected to the state Senate and Legislature, etc. Quite honestly, with the amount of rudeness at meetings during the past two years, it’s incredible that we accomplished anything. Unfortunately, chaos has increased even with Parliamentary procedures in place since February.

What are the solutions? First, we need to prayerfully examine our own behavior over the past two years. Secondly, we need to make amends for any rude, undermining, or deceitful behavior. Most importantly, we need to extend grace to Chairman Zinkhon and to each other. Finally, we need to engage in productive activities that bring salt and light to our party and community. I plan on getting to work. I would like to be a positive influence in my community and party.

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Precinct Captains elected Anna Zinkhon as chairman during the county reorganization in June of 2021. If there is a vote at the next meeting to remove Chairman Zinkhon, you can make your 2020 vote count by showing up for the next meeting and voting to allow Chairman Zinkhon to remain our party chairman. I humbly ask you to consider all that I have said in this piece.

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