Decatur Township Democrats remain at odds about who's actually in charge

2013-02-27T00:01:00Z Decatur Township Democrats remain at odds about who's actually in chargeBy RYAN VOYLES - H&R Staff Writer Herald-Review.com
February 27, 2013 12:01 am  • 

DECATUR — The Decatur Township Democrats have prepared a fundraiser this week to aid the campaign of several of their candidates for April’s election.

Or the group is preparing for a meeting March 7, which will lead to an April meeting to elect new officials.

At this point, it depends on who is asked.

More than three weeks since a special meeting was held to elect a new chairman and other officials for the Decatur Township Democrat Central Committee, not all members of the committee have acknowledged the results, which has led to two people continuing to act as the group’s chairman.

While Mark Wicklund, who was elected chairman at a special meeting Feb. 5, said the group has been campaigning and scheduling fundraisers for its candidates, longtime Chairman Jim Taylor said he too is helping with campaigning, as well as preparing for the March meeting.

Both men lay claim to the chairman role and do not acknowledge the other’s leadership. A move to change the party leadership began when seven elected and 17 appointed committeemen accused Taylor of a series of bylaw violations during his term in a letter circulated through the group in late January. Taylor has denied the allegations and said the special meeting did not follow the group’s bylaws, and therefore none of the action taken can be recognized.

“I know I’m doing it the right way,” Taylor said.

Wicklund, who was the unopposed selection for chairman, said the committee is moving along with its focus on the April election. He hopes both sides can come together for the good of the group.

“There are still some issues out there … but I’m hoping to bring this to a peaceful end,” he said.

How the groups could come together remains to be seen. Wicklund said he has spoken to his legal counsel but declined to elaborate. Taylor said he will not seek legal action and was unaware of any potential action.

While they have exchanged letters, Wicklund and Taylor said they have yet to talk directly since the Feb. 5 special meeting.

But Wicklund and Taylor are both saying they are focused on getting voters out for early voting and raising money for candidates.

Additionally, Wicklund said he wants to focus the township’s attention on investing in the community and being active in groups and community projects.

rvoyles@herald-review.com|(217) 494-8254

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