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3/24/2011
GOP hopefuls make their case to be chairman

by Beth Miller, News Journal Dialogue Delaware

Three men who want to be the next chairman of Delaware’s Republican State Committee will debate Saturday night at the Hartly Fire Hall and speak Monday night at a meeting of the Brandywine Region GOP.

With incumbent Chairman Tom Ross of Wilmington choosing not to run for re-election, the seat will be open when the GOP meets for its state convention April 29-30 at Dover Downs.

One man from each county hopes to fill that vacancy. They are:

* Don Ayotte of Georgetown, a Sussex Committee member, freelance journalist and blogger who was the spokesman for Kevin Wade’s congressional campaign in 2010.

* Mike Protack of Hockessin, an airline pilot who has run for governor twice, the U.S. Senate once, and most recently a seat on New Castle County Council.

* John Sigler of Dover, a retired Dover police captain, former member of the GOP’s state executive committee, and immediate past president of the National Rifle Association.

The men will take questions from a panel of six — two from each county. They include Kevin Wade and Michael Fleming from New Castle County; Dover attorney Beth B. Miller, Russ Murphy of the 9-12 Delaware Patriots, both from Kent County; and Sussex County’s Bob Lawless and Trish Anderson.

The Hartly event, which is a fundraiser for the 29th Representative District committee, starts with dinner at 6 p.m. The debate will start at about 7 p.m., organizers said. The fire hall is at 2898 Arthursville Rd., Hartly. Tickets, at $30 each, can be purchased at the door. But reservations are necessary, said the GOP’s Cathy Murray, and may be made by calling Janet Foltz at (302) 270-2860.

The Brandywine Hundred event starts at 7:30 p.m. at Plaza III Shopping Center on Marsh Road. National Committeewoman Priscilla Rakestraw also will speak on the party’s new national chair, Reince Priebus, who took office in January.

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