Removed Wood County GOP Chair wins lawsuit

WTAP News @ 11- Judge rules in favor of Cornelius
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:27 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - The ousted chair of the Wood County Republican Executive Committee says he is back after a judge ruled in his favor Thursday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Rob Cornelius was removed from office in 2019 by then-state Republican Chairwoman Melody Potter. He filed a lawsuit not long after against Potter and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner with the goal of being reinstated.

Cornelius is waiting on an order from the court to learn more, but said Thursday’s ruling puts him back at the head of the executive committee.

“Today is a complete victory for the folks who voted for me in Wood County, and in my neighborhood and in my precinct,” Cornelius said.

Potter resigned from her post in 2021.

“What people have to understand is, I was elected in Wood County, by folks in Wood County, unanimously by the committee here in Wood County, and yet someone from another county believed it was her ability in the law to remove someone she didn’t elect, she didn’t vote for, someone she just flat out didn’t like. And, that turns out, was probably a bad decision,” Cornelius said.

After removing Cornelius, Potter appointed Roger Conley to chair the Wood County Executive Committee. The now-West Virginia Delegate he says he’s not sure what the ruling will mean for his position as chair.

“I don’t know totally what that ruling means, I have not seen it,” Conley said. “I don’t think its any big deal at all. Elections are just around the corner. There’s going to be new committee members elected in May. Those new committee members will elect a new chair in June.”

Cornelius says executive committee members are elected in the primary elections of even numbered non-presidential election years, like 2022.

Conley said he hasn’t decided if he wants to be elected chair again, but he does plan to stay involved with the executive committee.

Cornelius says he plans to run for a spot on the Wood County Republican Executive Committee in the upcoming primary. He said he may also run for another office, but he has yet to decide which one.

You can read more about the case from our previous coverage here.

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