There's tension within the Erie County Republican Party. A small group of committee people has written to a state agency asking for an investigation into the party leadership.
Dennis Rieck was appointed as commiteeman for his Millcreek neighborhood 18 months ago. Since accepting the post, he says he's been told that the local GOP is in financial trouble. But party leadership, he says, would not give any proof.
"Uver the past 18 months, we've had a deficit of anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, we've heard. But we've never been allowed, as committee people, to see the books. They won't release them to us," Rieck said.
Rieck, and other committee people then went to the court house to get whatever financial documentation that was filed by the party.
"Nowhere on those reports, does it show any deficit," Rieck said. "I called the Department of State. They wanted to see the paperwork as soon as we could get it out."
The documents have been mailed with a letter signed by six local committee people, including former County Council candidate Clayton Schultze, local plastic surgeon, Dr. Winston Chu, and Lou Aliota, former candidate for Millcreek Supervisor.
Rieck says he and his group are also looking for the removal of party leadership. The group will get the committee people together later this month and start the procedure.
"What we need to do is we need to get 27 signatures, " he said. "That won't be a problem. I established, going through the list of other people, there's 100-108 committee members. And right off the bat, we will probably get 60-70 to sign."
Erie County GOP Chairman Veral Salmon responded to the actions of his dissenting party members by saying, "It's sad . It doesn't speak for the activities in my party."
He says the party's solicitor is prepared to answer any questions an investigation might bring.
Republican candidates are hoping for victory in November. But for now, they must watch as officials of their party battle it out among themselves.