The heavily #NeverTrump Massachusetts Republican Party is pretending that one of its state committee members still lives in Massachusetts in order to prevent a pro-Trump candidate from running and winning her seat.
NeverTrump Republican governor Charlie Baker’s loyalists are claiming that state committee member Angela Hudak still lives in Massachusetts, even though she moved to North Carolina. The Baker loyalists want to delay a caucus vote for her seat until their preferred candidate is more organized and well-equipped to win the election against a feisty pro-Trump insurgent challenger.
“Angela Hudak moved to North Carolina in the beginning of April,” Dianna Ploss told Big League Politics, referring to the Republican State Committee member in the First Essex and Middlesex District. “Everybody knew she was moving because she’s talked about this for six to eight months…They are trying to perpetrate a charade.”
Ploss, a Trump supporter, wants to run for Hudak’s seat. She points to state party bylaws requiring committee members to immediately inform the party chairman as soon as they move their place of residence.
“I sent an email to [party chairman] Kirsten Hughes a couple weeks ago, then I had to send her a Facebook message” asking to hold a caucus for Hudak’s seat. “I sent [Hughes] a certified letter on Friday and emailed her again asking for a caucus.”
Ploss said that Baker loyalists are pushing Gloucester-based Republican Amanda Orlando Kesterson for Hudak’s seat. Hudak even drove up from North Carolina for a Massachusetts GOP grassroots training session this past Saturday, where Kesterson was introduced as the preferred candidate in a caucus. But Kesterson is not organized enough yet to handily win an election, according to Ploss, so the state party is trying to drag things out. Ploss said that Kesterson’s family “are all big supporters of Charlie Baker.”
Big League Politics called Hudak and asked her if she had moved to North Carolina.
“I have really no comment on this time regarding my state. You’ve caught me at a really bad time. I’m in and out of events right now and you’ve caught me at a really bad time. I have no comment,” Hudak told Big League Politics. Asked again whether she had moved to North Carolina, Hudak hung up the phone.
MassGOP spokesman Terry MacCormack told Big League Politics that “The current state Committeewoman continues to be a registered Republican resident in the district.”
But voter registration does not matter, according to state party bylaws. Inhabitancy does.
“When a Regular Member position is vacant by virtue of no member having been elected, or when a Regular Member dies, resigns, changes party registration, is no longer an inhabitant of his or her senatorial district, or is otherwise no longer a Regular Member, the Chair shall take appropriate steps to verify the existence of a vacancy. Upon verification that a vacancy exists, the Chair shall expeditiously fill the vacancy as follows…” according to Massachusetts Republican State Committee Bylaws Article I Section 3 (emphasis added).
Evidence clearly shows that Hudak moved to North Carolina.
“I am sure by now you have heard the rumor that Angela Hudak is resigning from the State Committee. I want to ensure all of you this is just a rumor and Angela has not resigned at this time. Although she is moving, she is still holding the seat she was elected to until she decides to resign, if at all, before her term ends,” state committeeman Luke Noble wrote to select party insiders and officials in an April 4 email obtained by Big League Politics.
After that email went out, Ploss confronted Noble about the rules violation.
“If Angela was not doing her job as a state committee woman, I would express concerns appropriately. She was elected to the position and the bylaws of the party allow her to keep her seat until she resigns or is up for reelection in 2020,” state committeeman Luke Noble wrote in an email to Ploss last month. “Her personal life and where she ultimately decides to retire is none of my business. Although she is a friend and a wonderful person, I wish her all the best. I hope you put as much effort towards growing the party as you do towards investigating Angela Hudak’s personal life. We need party unity, not division.”
Ploss said that the “charade” all comes down to Governor Charlie Baker, who never supported Trump.
Ploss said that Vincent DeVito, Baker’s campaign legal counsel, did almost nothing to support Trump in his capacity as state chairman of the Trump campaign in 2016 and only made the campaign’s organizational chart in the Bay State one month before the election. DeVito, who did not immediately return a request for comment, recently nabbed a job in the Trump Interior Department for Secretary Ryan Zinke.