ASHE COUNTY-Signs of possible division appeared in the Ashe County Republican Party this week.
Tom Pope, a staunch conservative and longtime party member, has vocally expressed his disapproval of the party chairman’s selection of a Democrat and left leaning writer for its most recent GOP meeting.
Melissa Edmondson delivered her viewpoints on House Bill 2, which has now become known as the latest controversial topic concerning the rights of transgender people, during the party’s meeting Tuesday night at Shatley Springs Restaurant.
Pope has not minced words when it has come to his condemnation of the decision to allow Edmondson to speak and rebuked her selection during Monday’s Ashe County Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
He said the party’s chairman, David Desautels, did not have permission to seek out Edmondson as the keynote speaker and criticized what he called the unauthorized placement of two advertisements in the local newspapers promoting the engagement.
“I feel like that was wrong,” Desautels said Monday afternoon when asked to comment on Pope’s public statements to commissioners. “My phone number is out there. Someone with minimal effort could have got that. Why not call me? Why couldn’t we have talked about it?”
At the time, Desautels was unaware of Pope’s identity as the speaker during that morning’s commissioners’ meeting.
“It’s because civil discourse is so broken in this country,” he went on to say about Pope’s comments.
Desautels continued by saying this was a prime example of why a productive conversation between both parties is necessary.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.