Rockland County Republican Party chairman Vincent Reda of New City was re-elected last night over Anthony Mele of Chestnut Ridge. More than 200 people crowded into the Regency Ballroom at Comfort Inn in Nanuet for Thursday night's GOP convention.
Reda was nominated by Thomas Basile and seconded by Michael Lawler.
“On behalf of the entire NYS Republican Committee, 61 other county chairs who unanimously re-elected Vinny Reda as the first vice-chair of the state party, on behalf of state chairman, I proudly second the nomination of Vincent D. Reda for Rockland County Chairman,” said Lawler.
Republican chairs of each town seconded Reda’s nomination as well—Clarkstown Bob Axelrod, Orangetown Joe Brady-Amoon, Ramapo Michael Dolan, Stony point June Jobson and Haverstraw Lynn Teger.
After Reda was nominated, Rockland County Board of Elections Commissioner Louis Babcock asked if there were any other nominations.
From the back of the room, Mele was nominated by Joe Ciardullo and seconded by Rowena Mulluso.
“The rules of the convention is that we’re going to do a voice vote,” said Babcock.
“I’d like to make a motion for a secret ballot please,” yelled a person from the back of the room, followed by a few people seconding it.
“The opinion of the chair is that we’ve already discussed this with the five town chairmen and we have decided that the protocol for this evening will be a voice vote,” responded Babcock.
Several people chimed in saying “We have a right” and “We want secret ballot” escalating to many people clapping and shouting, some for a secret ballot and some for a voice vote. Watch the attached video for a look at Thursday night's voice vote.
After the room was settled down, a motion was made for a voice vote. Babcock declared that the opinion of the chair was the ‘Ayes’ have it and went forward with the voice vote, which re-elected Reda to party chair.
Also, on every chair in the room was a letter from the Rockland County Republican Committee to its committee members signed by all five republican chairs of each town.
The letter, which is attached to this article, states that Mele “has made some tremendous accusations and promises ... he will dismantle our party. A party that we together, have built for over two decades. A party that is respected throughout the state as one of the strongest Republican County Committees in new York; all to quell his narcissistic and self-serving need to be something he is not.”
In response to this letter, Mele said “I have Vincent Reda’s nomination. That seems like a nomination to me.”