Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Dale Polen Myers and two other Republicans running as independents resigned from the county GOP this week after party officials said they could step down or be kicked out.
Myers (At Large) wrote a letter to Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman Tom Berezoski saying she would stand by GOP principles, even though she is running for reelection as an independent after being denied the GOP nomination.
"I'm not leaving the party," Myers said in an interview this week. "I am still a Republican. It's a matter of whether you're a member of this particular local committee or not. There's nothing that makes you or unmakes you a Republican."
Also stepping down from the local GOP were Timothy F. Powers and Ellen D. Oliver, who have both mounted independent bids for the Board of Supervisors. Oliver, a former School Board member, and Powers, a lobbyist and head of a taxpayers group, are running against Republicans in the Dulles and Broad Run districts, respectively.
GOP leaders said that bylaws prevent local party members from remaining in the party if they are running as independents. At a Loudoun GOP meeting Monday night, Berezoski asked committee members who do not plan to support GOP candidates to "please step away from the committee."
At the meeting, an anonymously distributed memo was circulated, criticizing some fellow Republicans for signing Myers's petition to run as an independent. Among those who signed were Supervisors Steven D. Whitener (R-Sugarland Run) and Lawrence S. Beerman II (R-Dulles). Berezoski said signing Myers's petition was not a violation of party rules.
The resignations, the subject of much discussion at the GOP meeting, are another sign of division in the local Republican Party, which just completed a bruising primary battle for several seats.
Myers was defeated resoundingly in the GOP primary for board chairman by Supervisor Scott K. York (R-Sterling) and later filed to run as an independent. The central issue in the race for the nomination was growth, with York arguing that there should be less of it and Myers arguing that Loudoun should lure more businesses to help pay for it.
School Board elections are nonpartisan, but candidates can seek a party's endorsement. After Oliver lost the GOP endorsement for the Dulles seat to incumbent Joseph W. Vogric, she filed to run for supervisor as an independent.
Powers did not run in the primary, in which three GOP candidates battled for the nomination for supervisor from the Broad Run District.
In a letter of resignation to Berezoski, Powers said he would continue to stand by Republican ideals. But he said the local party had strayed.
"A few leaders of the Republican Party--you included--have engaged in a running battle to silence those Republicans who have had the courage to speak out on behalf of the taxpayers," Powers said.
Berezoski wrote back to Powers saying, "Had you been attending our meetings, you would have seen this committee . . . passed resolutions to limit or abolish certain tax, vetoed the meals tax and continued the principles of limited government in individual lives."
By the end of Monday's GOP meeting, Berezoski declared: "We are a united party, and we will maintain that."
CAPTION: Dale Polen Myers is running for reelection as an independent.