None of this should take anyone by surprise. After the last election, members of the Florence GOP decided it was time for a party purge after watching their candidate for Solicitor lose (handedly). That campaign had been quite divisive within the local GOP, as a number of longtime Republican supporters had publicly endorsed the incumbent, Ed Clements. You may recall that one of the targets of that purge was none other than long-time oracle of politics here in South Carolina, Dr. Neal Thigpen. That just goes to show you the political acumen of the decision makers currently calling the shots in the local GOP party.
Be that as it may, the smoking ordinance has brought out the long knives yet again in the Florence County GOP. We're sure Willis and Brand were not surprised. Afterall, at a townhall meeting held at Moore Middle School to discuss the ordinance, one wanna-be rising star of these folks got up and told Willis and Brand not to run as Republicans again. You would think these folks had learned during the last election that making lithmus tests out of certain issues or races does not win you support. It winds up making you lose by pretty damn big margins in a record-Republican coattail year. No...the Florence Republican Party seems content to let itself be taken over by folks who want to steer into the skid. They are embracing the crazy.
In response to the resolutions, Councilman Brand said:
the passing of the resolutions serves as an indicator of the leadership
currently within the Florence County Republican Party.
“In every organization you look at leadership,” he said. “I would just say the leadership is light there.”
Hey...that's one of your elected officials, GOP...you talk to 'em.