After speculation created by the grassroots website “Step Down Now”, Maine National Committeeman Mark Willis has confirmed he will challenge the controversial Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Willis, who late last year in an Undercover Porcupine exclusive called on Charlie Webster to resign as Maine Republican Chairman, has become a rising leader in the Republican Party.
The Republican grassroots over the last few years has been pushing back against the establishment, starting with the tea party movement in 2010. 2012 saw the rise of the libertarians, with the highly-sophisticated Ron Paul presidential campaign joining forces with the grassroots to make advances within the party.
Mark Willis, who was endorsed by the Ron Paul campaign, was elected at the Maine Republican Convention in May. Although endorsed by the campaign, he has proven to be a leader for the entire party. Such as with the call for Webster’s resignation, he has shown a genuine concern for the party as a whole.
Priebus has been a terrible chairman of the Republican Party and like Charlie Webster here in Maine, has been a divisive figure. The lack of leadership resulted in a heavy defeat of the Republican Party in last year’s general election.
A Facebook page has been created to mount a campaign in support of National Committeeman Willis, with a message from Willis himself.
In order for the party to move forward, new leadership must be elected. Former State Representative Rich Cebra has taken over as Maine Republican Chairman and thus far has been an all-inclusive leader, with his committee assignments reflecting a commitment to allow all factions to have a voice.
Now the Republican Party must do the same at a national level by replacing Reince Priebus. If 2014 is to be a victory year, then Mark Willis needs to be that replacement. He has proven to be an intelligent individual and an excellent leader, open to allowing all factions to have a voice at the table. Republicans have an opportunity to change their course in the right direction after a difficult year.