Republican Party chairwoman ousted

ANCHORAGE — The executive committee of the Alaska Republican Party has removed Debra Holle Brown as chairwoman, the second leadership change in the last three months.

Brown, formerly the vice chairwoman, became the head of the party when the executive committee removed Russ Millet in January, KTUU reported.

Peter Goldberg was elevated to party chairman during Monday night’s meeting. He was elected vice chairman after Brown was made chairwoman in January.

Both Brown and Millette were swept to power by Ron Paul supporters who overwhelmed last year’s state meeting when elections were held to replace longtime party leader Randy Ruedrich.

“The actions that took place tonight had absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Brown’s political views,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said most members of the committee agreed they all probably share the same core values.

“It’s not about old guard. It’s not about Ron Paul. It’s about the future of getting rid of Mark Begich,” Goldberg told the Anchorage television station. Begich, a Democrat and the state’s freshman U.S. senator, faces re-election next year.

The GOP’s executive committee claimed Brown ignored her duties as vice chairwoman from April 2012 through January and didn’t raise enough cash for the party as reasons for her removal.

Brown, who said she was attending a national Republican event in California on Monday, countered the allegations against her weren’t true.

“I have done nothing wrong,” she told KTUU by phone.

“The complaint and charges are unfounded and harassing in nature,” she said. “I believe it’s time that the grass roots and Alaskan Republicans push back to these unreasonable actions by this smaller group of Republicans.”

Goldberg acknowledged the party has “a lot of healing” to do.

“I have a big job in front of me to try and bring back together the people who think we are a factual divided state,” he said. “We have a common goal. It’s going to take some time but there’s far more Republicans in this state than Democrats, and I think we can do it.”

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