Mississippi Tea Partiers want the state’s Republican Party chairman to resign for calling on state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS) to clarify whether he planned to be the keynote speaker at a pro-Second Amendment event and tea party rally that featured a segregationist vendor.
The call for state party chairman Joe Nosef (pictured) to resign comes in response to Nosef telling MSNBC that McDaniel needed to clarify whether he had planned to attend the event or not. Nosef, on the Paul Gallo Show, also suggested that McDaniel could cost Republicans a Senate seat. McDaniel is running to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
“It is inappropriate for Nosef to make such claims given his role as Chairman of the MS GOP. Accordingly, Joe Nosef should resign from his position as Chairman of the MS GOP effective immediately,” the Mississippi Tea Party said in a statement.
Nosef, in a statement to the Clarion Ledger of Mississippi, said he would not resign:
Anyone who has paid close attention to our US senate primary knows that I’ve not only stayed neutral with regard to the candidates but also worked relentlessly against efforts to divide our party. I continue to receive encouragement in this effort to promote unity from our GOP elected officials, voters across the state, members of both campaigns, as well as very active, long-term tea party members. I also appreciate the good people across our state who make up the lifeblood of the tea party and have enjoyed working with them for years. I am grateful for their support. I have a great working relationship with them in all corners of our state and look forward to working together in this year’s campaigns and into the future.
As TPM previously reported, McDaniel had been slated to be the keynote speaker at a combined Firearm Freedom Day/ Tea Party Music Festival in Guntown, Mississippi. That event featured a vendor who sold Confederate memorabilia and founded the Council of White Patriot Voters and the Confederate Patriot Voters United, which the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an active white nationalist group. Organizers said McDaniel had been the confirmed speaker since February.
When TPM reached McDaniel campaign officials they denied that he was scheduled to speak and pushed the organizers to remove McDaniel’s name from posters advertising him as the keynote speaker.
McDaniel’s association to neo-Confederates has been called into question before. Last year he attended at least one neo-Confederate event in Mississippi.
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