The battle over control of the Mercer County GOP has gotten downright nasty as members of the executive committee seek to oust Chairman Roy Wesley.
At a function sponsored by the Mercer County Capital Club in the Chambersburg section of Trenton earlier this week, unknown members of the anti-Wesley faction posted a sign across from the entrance to the event exhorting members to call Wesley and ask him to step down.
The 3 foot by 4 foot yellow sign included Wesley’s cell phone number.
Another sign picturing Montgomery Burns of Simpsons fame and the caption “Beware, No Admittance for MCRC Executive Board Members,” was hung on the door of the party headquarters. That sign is apparently a reference to a recent spat over Wesley’s decision to change the locks on the headquarters because of the number of keys to the old locks that are floating around.
Wesley said the signs have pushed the fight to a new and childish level.
“Unfortunately, doing things like this makes us look Sophomoric, foolish and somewhat dysfunctional,” Wesley said. “That kind of behavior doesn’t help the Republican party.”
Wesley’s wife, Capital Club Chairwoman Nancy Wesley, has waded into the fray as well, defending her husband against what she calls rumor and fabrication.
“This has gotten ridiculous,” Nancy Wesley said in an interview Wednesday. “They have been spreading all of these rumors about Roy and none of it is true.
Wesley was referring to several s from party members criticizing Roy Wesley for his handling of the party and for his performance during recent elections that saw the party get shellacked despite favorable conditions for Republicans nationwide.
Roy Wesley defends his actions throughout the campaign and says he gave as much support as possible to all of the party’s candidates.
Leading the call for his resignation is 12th District Congressional Candidate Scott Sipprelle who drafted a letter touting his successes despite a losing campaign and accusing Wesley of undermining his efforts.
But Nancy Wesley calls Sipprelle a sore loser and says he lost by 13,000 votes, hardly a close race.
“He lost and he wants to blame everyone else for it,” Nancy Wesley said.
Wesley also defends herself and her husband against charges that Roy Wesley has pushed for a job for his wife with the Christie administration.
“Roy didn’t even write the letter for me,” she said. “(Former state Sen.) Bill Baroni wrote it while he was still in office. If anything Roy has wanted to stay out of it. Then (state Sen.) Tom Goodwin forwarded the same paperwork.”
In an email to fellow committee members, member Shirley Guereri accused Nancy Wesley of turning down at least three jobs with the state, a claim Republican sources with knowledge of the job process back up. But Wesley categorically denies the claim, and says though she has had screening interviews with four departments absolutely no jobs have been offered.
Of those that would depose her husband, Wesley said they are covering up for their own inadequacies. She specifically cites Second Vice Chairman Joe Truch, who wrote a scathing email to committee members criticizing Roy Wesley for a lack of leadership.
Of Truch Wesley says he was rarely around during the election yet is trying to pin blame elsewhere.
“He is reflecting back his own behavior on my husband,” Wesley said.
For his part, Wesley said he will not step down. Members of the party have begun the process of changing the party’s constitution to allow the removal of the chairman. A vote on that measure will take place sometime in January.