By Guy Page
The VT Republican State Party Committee Saturday adopted a Chittenden County Committee resolution to not financially support self-declared independent U.S. House candidate Liam Madden, who defeated two better-known Republicans in Tuesday’s primary.
Voters gave Madden a plurality victory of 35% of Republican voters. Ericka Bundy Redic and Anya Tynio gathered 27% and 23% respectively.
The state committee vote at Capital Plaza in Montpelier appeared to find insufficient the party executive committee’s recommendation to take no official party action on voters’ selection of Madden over better-known candidates Ericka Redic and Anya Tynio.
At the outset of Saturday’s gathering, state chair Paul Dame stated that the party was indeed in “uncharted territory.”
Before Tuesday’s election, Madden – a Bellows Falls resident, anti-war activist, solar developer, and avowed foe of the two-party system – had promised to decline the nomination if chosen. But on Thursday he pleaded ignorance about state law regarding independent candidates. He said he had believed the GOP nomination would remain vacant if he chose to run as an independent. Upon learning the GOP would run another candidate if he declined the nomination, he reluctantly accepted it.
In his opening remarks, Dame noted that perhaps primary voters saw something in Madden that others failed to see. He also noted that likeminded GOP candidates, unlike Democrat House candidates Kesha Ram and Becca Balint, didn’t join forces against a primary challenger. He added that as state chair, he has no plans to provide financial or manpower resources to Madden.
But state committee members wanted a non-support statement on the record. They adopted almost unanimously the following resolution passed by Burlingtonian Redic’s home committee, the Chittenden County Republican Party:
“Whereas 15(a) of the Vermont Republican Party Rules regarding ethical behavior states that: A member of the Republican State Committee shall: 1. Endeavor to protect and promote the best interests of the Vermont Republican Party; and, 2. Endeavor to protect against unethical practice or misrepresentation in matters to do with the Vermont Republican Party
“Whereas Liam Madden, the candidate who received the most votes in the Vermont Republican Primary on August 9 th , 2022, has stated publicly that he is not a Republican and would not caucus with the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Caucus; He has never publicly promised to vote for a Republican as Speaker of the House.
“Be it resolved that the Vermont Republican Committee shall not commit any resources, financial or otherwise, towards the election of Liam Madden to the U.S. House of Representatives from Vermont.”
Redic will be on the November 8 general election ballot on the Libertarian Party ticket. For some Republican leaders, this is an opportunity to deliver on the wishes of the majority of GOP voters for a traditional Republican candidate.
It was clear at the VTGOP meeting this past weekend the intention of the VTGOP is to have one of the two Republican women represent the party in the fall election,” Lamoille County Republican Chair Tom McLinden of Stowe said in a letter sent last night. “If Republicans support Ericka en masse the election turns into a race with one Republican-backed candidate running against two Democrats: Liam Madden, and Becca Balint. This is a race Ericka can win, and Republicans can make it happen if they just get out of their own way and provide Ericka the support she needs to prevail.”
In a post Friday on Redic’s ‘Generally Irritable’ Facebook page, Madden sought to explain his reasoning for accepting the nomination: “My entire life as a Vermont voter, I saw that Bernie Sanders participated in a party primary and declines the nomination to run as an independent in the general election. For nearly the entire election, I didn’t understand that the only reason Bernie can decline the Democratic party nomination and be an independent in the general was that he and the Democratic party had to agree ahead of time to not replace the spot on the ballot he was leaving open with another candidate. Upon learning this, I had reasonable doubts that the Republican party would want to leave the spot open if I declined the nomination.
I obviously don’t want a three person race, that defeats the purpose of winning a primary.”
A more complete version of Madden’s statement can be seen here.
Redic said today Vermonters deserve a candidate who won’t violate campaign promises – as Madden did.
“I actually feel a great deal of pity for Liam,” Redic said in an email to Vermont Daily Chronicle this morning. “Like your typical progressive, he had what he believed was a good plan to help make the country better. However, because of his lack of planning and forethought, and because it is no longer politically advantageous, he is breaking his word to Vermonters and running as a Republican. Mr. Madden has become the very thing he claims he wants to fight in Washington. It’s easy to claim you have values when they are never tested.
“Vermonters deserve a politician with Integrity who is Accountable and Transparent. Luckily there is still one candidate in the race who vows to be that example in Washington. Go to RedicForCongress.com to learn more about my campaign, get signed up for the newsletter, and drop me a line to let us know how you can help with the campaign.”