By Calamity June
On Saturday morning in Navajo County, 15 of the 17 duly elected Precinct Committeemen convened at a Special Meeting and voted, unanimously, to remove Steven Slaton as Navajo County Chairman. Longtime activist Jim Vance was elected as the new chairman, effective immediately.
It is never a good thing when a party officer faces a recall, but in the case of the Navajo County Republican Committee, it was a long time coming. Slaton’s tenure has been marked by divisiveness, petty internal fights, and personal attacks on Republican elected officials. It was time for Mr. Slaton to go, as evidenced by the fact that 15 of the 16 PCs not named “Steve Slaton” voted to remove him from office.
With Slaton and one other PC choosing the boycott the meeting in protest, there was not one vote in favor of keeping him in office. Sadly, Steven Slaton had lost the confidence of his PCs, and as we head into the crucial election year of 2018, it is clear that new leadership was required in Navajo County.
More broadly, however, this is an important moment for Republicans throughout Arizona. For decades, bullying and harassment chased hundreds of good, conservative activists out of the party. Name calling and divisiveness ruled the day, with a select few elites deciding who was worthy of participation in their club.
Now, as Chairman Jonathan Lines follows through on his promise to build an inclusive and growing party, PCs from across the state are rejecting negativity and bullying, and rallying around the GOP as we look towards victory in 2018.
One would hope that Slaton’s unanimous removal from office will serve as a wakeup call to others in the party who choose division instead of addition. And if not, they’ll surely soon be joining Mr. Slaton among the ranks of former Chairmen.
Calamity June is a Republican activist who resides in the Phoenix area and writes primarily on Arizona Republican Party politics.