Ouch. In the race to for state Republican chair, Hillsborough Republican Chair Debbie Cox-Roush just got whacked in an email sent from two fellow Hillsborough GOPers, Tampa precinct committeeman and -woman Pat and Pam McDowell. In the letter sent to the Republican Executive Committee members, the McDowells want anybody but Cox-Roush.
Cox-Roush said she couldn't comment on the letter because she hadn't seen it. But, she noted, she was just re-elected to her county chair post by 162-18, so the negative sentiments the McDowell's portray are in the minority.
"This is a big county," she said. "You can't please everyone."
But Pat McDowell said Cox-Roush has ruled through fear and she has done more to help herself than the party. He also slings the ultimate Republican slur: "She's another Jim Greer," he said, referencing the former and currently indicted RPOF chair. (It's a line Cox-Roush, who opposed Greer, will vehemently disagree with.)
Maybe this is all a sign she's the frontrunner. Maybe it's all true. Maybe it's just the result of a personality clash. Who knows. Anyway, here's the letter:
Dear State Republican Leaders,
As Republicans, we feel compelled to write you and frankly express our view of the race to elect a new Chair for our beloved Party. We are not paid politicos - we're just regular rank & file Republicans. Politics is not a career for us, and we can speak candidly. We only know one of the candidates running for the position of RPOF Chair, Deborah Cox-Roush, so we could not comment on any of the other candidates. Regrettably it is our opinion that Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee Chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush is not "committed" for all the right reasons.
As formerly very active volunteers on our local committee, having set up the HREC offices and computer systems, my wife Pam and I write to strongly oppose the selection of our local Chairwoman to the post of State Party Chair. This is regrettable, and we wish we had been more vocally opposed to her re-election locally. In our personal experience with her, we do not think she is prepared to lead, especially at such a high level. Perhaps most disconcerting, was Cox-Roush's fixation with promoting dinners (hosted in her facility by her catering company) over doing the nuts & bolts things that we all know are required to get a win for our Republican candidates. She was adamant that volunteers make calls for her dinners while they could have clearly been utilized for other grassroots action. The party is not here to pad the pocketbook of Deborah Cox-Roush. The Party is here to elect good Republicans!
We witnessed first-hand her nasty demeanor and willingness to be verbally abusive of both volunteers and paid staff, both behind the scenes in an office environment and even somewhat publicly in the run-up to several meetings. If she acts that way now, how will she comport herself at the state level when the stakes are so much higher? We firmly believe that volunteers are the lifeblood to make our party strong and should be treated as such.
We were asked to become leaders in our district and took the challenge very seriously. We came up with plans to expand our committee base and break down walks into manageable chunks. All our efforts were turned away without a cursory glance. When the purge of volunteers occurred our leadership and along with it our access to the Web-Elect program became void. We've been frustrated to see that our HREC membership not only appears virtually stagnant but seems to be decreasing. The most important thing is to grow our base, we need excited involved and active people. To get these people into our committee we need to be creative and appreciative not dismissive and lordly.
While her poor management skills are reason enough to oppose her, our main opposition the her comes from her complete lack of neutrality with regards to primary races. Cox-Roush supposedly objected to Jim Greer's "hand-picking" candidates, but she clearly had her own candidate in several races. She alienated those who did not agree with her, especially with respect to the Governor's race. Pam and I were leaning towards supporting our Governor-Elect, but we were not active supporters until she removed staff and volunteers she suspected of being Rick Scott supporters. We've seen first-hand exactly how she treats volunteers and paid staff. It was astounding, even shocking. We are honestly blown away that she would be given serious consideration for this post. We are in awe. She seldom discussed substantive issues, but her desire to head our party was very apparent from conversations at the office. She made it clear during our time there that she expected to move up to chair of our party, that she was being "groomed" for the position.
We are not the only ones who feel this way. She even lost the confidence and support of our phenomenal "Volunteer Coordinator" prior to the Primary election due to Cox-Roush's own profanity and mistreatment of others. After countless hours spent building computers and manning the HCRP headquarters, we have backed away from doing something we truly enjoy and gain quiet satisfaction from while Cox-Roush pursues her own personal ambition. As Republicans, we can do better than electing Deborah Cox-Roush to lead our party. She is not someone we can entrust with fiduciary responsibility for our state party as the Republican National Convention nears and our party comes under more and more media scrutiny. Further consolidation of power in Tampa is not a good idea with her at the helm.
She touts her willingness to seek the remove of our former corrupt Chairman, but it seems to us her management style is all too familiar. Greer steam-rolled and removed those he distrusted or disagreed with. After all we have seen, it seems that's right up her alley. Please, cast your vote for one of the other candidates. Any one of them would better serve us.
It is our greatest fear that we are going to elect another Jim Greer.
You can call us at our home at 813-887-1088 or on my cell at 813 335-0913 if you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter.
Pat & Pam McDowell
Precinct Committeeman and Precinct Committeewoman