Conservative Party Fighting For Control Again

MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Conservative Party leaders are fighting for control, again.

On Friday, a Chautauqua County Supreme Court hearing was scheduled and then adjourned in the case of Anna Wilcox against Roger Gloss. Michael Sullivan, who is representing Wilcox, who is the plaintiff in the case, said this isn’t the first time county conservatives have fought over control of the party.

In 2010, party members went to court in the Jones and Wilcox v. Melquist case to see who controlled the split political group. In September 2010, The Post-Journal received two news releases from Conservative Party members – one from Anna Wilcox and one from Kathleen Ferri. The first said Wilcox had been elected chair of the county party at a meeting in Sheridan. The second reported that Cameron Monroe had been elected chairman at a different meeting.

“The Conservative Party has been in and out of court the last couple years,” Sullivan said. “There has been a lot of litigation. Some to the appellate court.”

In fact, Sullivan said the two people fighting over control of the Conservative Party now were on the same side a couple years ago. Sullivan said the battle for Conservative Party power is to see who controls the group’s many political facets. One is its finances, which have been frozen by its bank until one leader has been officially designated. Sullivan said another aspect the party’s leader controls is giving endorsement to non-conservative party members.

“In the law, if you’re not a member of the party, you can’t be a candidate without permission,” he said. “Part of the fight is who will make that call. Who will have the power to make that decision.”

Another reason there is a fight for power is, in two years, who will call the meeting to once again reorganize the party’s leadership.

On Friday, Sullivan said Gloss’s party filed a motion to deny Wilcox’s petition. Sullivan said the case was adjourned to give him time to review the motion before appearing in court. According to court online resource directory, the Hon. Deborah A. Chimes is the judge in the case.