A vice-chair of the Fulton County Republican Party on Monday told Chair Trey Kelly that it’s in the party’s best interest that he step aside.
Fulton County GOP Vice Chair Zach Hines (pictured right) relayed the message through a YouTube video. Former Fulton County GOP Vice Chair Jamie Parrish uploaded the video to his personal YouTube channel.
Party members convened last month to elect a new chair. They had to pick between Kelly (pictured center), the incumbent, or newcomer Susan Opraseuth (pictured left). But Fulton County Republicans tussled over who ultimately prevailed because of voting methods that many people found questionable. Kelly won that first vote. Several party members demanded a second and more transparent vote — which Opraseuth won. Kelly challenged the second vote. Members of the Georgia GOP State Committee will likely have to settle the matter.
Hines said in the YouTube video that the Fulton County GOP Convention was “a major black eye.”
“If I was to consult Trey I would say stop this madness, for the better of the party. If he really cares about the Fulton County Republican Party or the Republican Party in general, especially in the heels of the election integrity issues that we had, the irony to me is he kind of did the same thing that we all got energized about coming out of the last election cycle. I would say Trey, step down,” Hines said.
“You can still have a seat at the table. We are happy to bring people together and unite. Our ultimate goal is to create a party that is motivated, energized, and organized. I think that is lacking and the main reason you were voted out of office.”
Hines said he has lived in Atlanta for 25 years, but the fact that Georgia went for U.S. President Joe Biden in last November’s presidential election motivated Hines to step up with the Fulton County GOP and get more involved. Hines said the first election for Fulton County GOP Party chair was “shady,” while the second one was “orderly.”
Members of the Fulton County GOP leadership have not returnedThe Georgia Star News’repeated requests for comment.
Kelly emailed Fulton County GOP members last week and said he “will be everyone’s chairman.”
“For the majority of those that did vote for me, thank you for your continued trust and confidence,” Kelly wrote.
“With the high stakes ahead we face, it is now time for everyone to join together as one.”
Opraseuth’s LinkedIn page identifies her as an investor, agent, and broker in the commercial real estate industry with a history of work in international business. Opraseuth strongly supports former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Julie Allen said she attended the April 17 event.
“You are trying to figure out this process because it doesn’t seem like it’s working well, and you make the time and effort to go,” Allen toldThe Star News.
“But if the establishment is more concerned with self-preservation than getting out the vote and winning and beating a Democratic candidate in the next election then how will we [as a party] ever win?”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Georgia Star News and the Star News Network. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Image “Trey Kelly” by Trey Kelly, “Susan Opraseuth” is by Susan Opraseuth and “Zach Hines” is by Jamie Parrish.