It was recently reported on other blogs that Randy Pullen was given a near-unanimous vote of support to become State Chairman from the Maricopa Republican Party Executive Committee with only four nay votes. One vote was mistakenly attributed to the District 8 chairman as a nay vote. My source reports that there were only three nay votes: Chairmen from Districts 7 and 18, and 2nd Vice Chairman Steve Johnson. 20 or so committee members voted in favor of supporting Randy Pullen.
Apparently, neither Lisa James nor Randy Pullen were present at the event which was being held during a state GOP Christmas party. The results of the vote were announced just after Lisa James entered the room, and she appeared stunned by the news. Randy Pullen learned of the vote by phone soon after the results were announced.
Although the vote was not orchestrated by Randy Pullen, he was aware of it ahead of time and the outcome came as no surprise considering Pullen's tenure and broad appeal in the party. Lisa James, a relative newcomer to state politics, will find it difficult to overcome these attributes and her ties to McCain camp volunteers many of whom campaigned for Napolitano this past election.
Perhaps Pullen supporters were trying to send a message to encourage James to resign from the race.
Randy Pullen is thought to be holding a strong lead in most of Maricopa County and a slightly smaller lead in Pima and Pinal counties. A few Hellon loyalists who still smart from Pullen's victory over Hellon for the National Committeeman slot, will support James as an anti-Pullen vote. But Pullen appears to have strong Pima county-wide support.
If Pullen does not win by a landslide in January, it will be a surprise.