The Orange County Republican Central Committee has changed its collective mind and unanimously endorsed fellow committee member Lynn Schott in her bid to capture an Irvine City Council seat.
The vote, which took place Monday night was the second public act of reconciliation by the local GOP in as many weeks. Two Saturdays ago, Janet Nguyen and Van Tran engaged in a public hatchet burying per the party’s request.
Much of the rift regarding Schott’s endorsement can be traced back to a January meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine.
Members of Tea Party offshoot groups, as well as a few central committee members, gathered in a room at the hotel, vented their anger with GOP leadership and demanded an accounting review of the party’s books. Hanging in the room were mocking posters of top Republican leaders, including local county GOP Chairman Scott Baugh.
One of the consequences of that meeting was that Schott, who was in the hotel room, was denied an endorsement — by one vote — at the Central Committee meeting last month
Baugh said the dispute had gotten to a point where it needed to end, and that the “opportunity exists to unite together and beat [Irvine] Democrats.”
“The bottom line is sometimes people find themselves in a fight, and it’s difficult to keep track of the slights dished to each other, and at some point you don’t know who did what to whom,” Baugh said.
Allan Bartlett, one of the central committee members critical of the leadership, said he was happy that the party’s members could set aside their differences and endorse Schott.
“I’m gracious that the chairman and the party is doing the right thing for Irvine,” Bartlett said. “That’s what we’ve wanted all along.”
— ADAM ELMAHREK