GOP Leaders demanded the resignations of republican mayors, for endorsing Gov. Janet Napolitano. Other Republicans have also crossed party this election season in local and state contests as well as in an East Valley congressional race. The move exposes serious cracks in the Republican Party,

City council, school boards and other local offices traditionally are nonpartisan. But party leaders follow orders from Party Chairman Matt Salmon who wants the resignation of any republican who endorsed a candidate from another party.

GOP leaders literaly hand-delivered letters to Mayor Elaine Scruggs, Joan Shafer and Ron Badowski demanding they resign from office for supporting Gov Napolitano. “We’re letting the public know that if you are a Republican, you should stand by your party or remain silent,” said Lyle Tuttle, chairman of the Republican Party for District 4,

Mayor Scruggs, called the letter insulting saying certain members of the party are more interested in “mind control” than in a person’s right to back a candidate based on qualifications, integrity and track record. “This reminds me of Reverend Jim Jones saying, ‘Stand in line and drink the Kool-Aid,’ ” Scruggs said, referring to the cult leader responsible for the 1978 Jonestown, Guyana, mass suicide. “That’s how this message comes across to me. What this says is, we are not to think; we are not to make decisions.” .” The mayors are not the only Republicans to cross party lines this election.

Speaker Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix, supports state Rep. Leah Landrum Taylor,who is running for a state Senate seat. Former republican state Attorney General Grant Woods also supports Napolitano, as does Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker and Councilman Tom Simplot. Several Republican Tempe council members have endorsed Harry Mitchell over incumbent J.D. Hayworth for the 5th Congressional District seat.

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