Apr 10, 2024 - News

San Diego GOP chair resigns after failed endorsement maneuver

Illustration of an elephant with the GOP logo stuck on its tusk.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The San Diego GOP ousted its chairperson Monday after she failed in a controversial bid to change the party's 75th Assembly District endorsement in the middle of the race.

Why it matters: Paula Whitsell's attempt to revoke the party's endorsement of Lakeside School District board member Andrew Hayes in favor of talk radio host Carl DeMaio sparked outrage within the party and led to her resignation.

Driving the news: The party's governing board unanimously elected Corey Gustafson, a brewery owner and unsuccessful congressional candidate, to replace Whitsell, Fox 5 reported.

The intrigue: Whitsell told a party committee earlier this month that its previous endorsement of Hayes applied only to last month's primary and called for a new general election endorsement vote, as Voice of San Diego scooped.

  • In an email to party officials, Coronado Republican Mayor Richard Bailey called Whitsell's maneuver an unprecedented abuse of power and violation of party bylaws.

Context: Hayes won the GOP endorsement in June with support from over two-thirds of the party's governing board, but DeMaio won more than twice as many votes in last month's primary.

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