El Paso GOP factions remain at odds ahead of weekend gathering

Local

Ray Baca speaks with El Paso GOP members on Feb. 1, 2021.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Republican factions throughout the country are evaluating leadership in the political party as midterm elections in 2022 get closer.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Liz Cheney was removed from her position as the leading Republican due to her unwillingness to accept former U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims about voter fraud in the 2020 general election. She denounced an embrace of Trump’s ideology influencing the party’s political stances during her ouster.

But in El Paso, a duel over leadership continues as members of the GOP joust over who is the legitimate chairman.

The issue was brought before the El Paso County Court at Law #3 with Judge Javier Alvarez, who ultimately ruled in the civil case between Rick Seeberger and Raymundo Baca that the issue was not up to him to decide.

“All it has done is confuse the average Republican who is not intimately involved in party politics,” Baca said.

The split continues as the Republican party readies for its annual Lincoln Dinner this Saturday. The state party’s chairman, Allen West will be in attendance, according to Baca.

Disputes between Republican leadership came to a head in January when Seeberger announced he was resigning from his position as chairman of The El Paso County Republican Party. Seeberger had defeated Adolfo Telles in the last election to chair the party.

He later announced he was rescinding his resignation, ahead of a party meeting.

Seeberger told KTSM 9 News, after the event, that a new organization had been formed that would represent the El Paso branch of the party. He claimed the party’s leadership voted to change the organization of the party from a nonprofit to a chapter 527 organization.

The new organization is called the El Paso Republican Party of El Paso County, Inc. and was formed on Jan. 19, before he resigned, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

But the branch of the Republican party backed by the state group had voted for Baca to chair the El Paso GOP. During the meeting in January, he appointed Bethany Hatch to be his vice-chair and called on party members to unite.

Seeberger, who initiated the civil case in February, says he is appealing the court’s decision. The court case began shortly after a meeting at a Christian center in Central El Paso, where state party officials backed Baca after a vote.

“The state chairman stepped in, did not understand a new corporation had been setup and held a vote to replace me, which was totally illegal,” Seeberger said. “So, he (Baca) is not chairman of the Republican party. He is telling people he is. He is not.”

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