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Alaska GOP ousts incoming chairman

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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 10:00 am | Updated: 10:10 am, Fri Feb 1, 2013.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Alaska Republican Party voted late Thursday to remove its incoming chairman.

The Anchorage Daily News reported (http://is.gd/hOw01T) that the party's executive committee voted to oust incoming party chairman Russ Millette from the post. Millette put on his hat and left the room, the newspaper said.

The party earlier transferred a majority of its cash to the Juneau chapter, where the money would be out of reach of the incoming chairman - due to take office Friday.

Millette won the chairmanship election when Ron Paul supporters and other non-establishment party members flooded the party convention in April.

The meeting to consider the ouster had been set for Friday but was moved to Thursday.

Outgoing party chief Randy Ruedrich announced the money transfer early Thursday, telling party members by email about shifting nearly $35,000.

"This transfer ensures that the principal ARP mission - the election of R epublicans - is protected," Ruedrich wrote.

Millette was elected the new party chairman and Debra Holle Brown the vice chairwoman during the state convention.

Millette backed Republican and tea party favorite Joe Miller in his unsuccessful bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in 2010.

Ruedrich and party rules chairman Frank McQueary filed complaints against Millette and Brown. The complaint against Millette said he hasn't promoted party causes over the last year and only recently became a Republican.

State election records indicate Millette had been registered as nonpartisan, undeclared and Republican over the last three years.

Millette has said he's been a Republican for most of his life, and votes for "constitutional conservatives."

The party's executive committee first met Jan. 17 to consider the complaints.

However, the meeting was delayed until Friday. Ruedrich said the date was later changed to Thursday, but denied it was changed so Millette wouldn't have a vote.

"I don't think that had a significant impact on anyone's decision," he said.

Millette earlier rejected Ruedrich's assertion that the date of the meeting was due to scheduling conflicts.

"His reason, to me, is very lame. And also illegal," Millette said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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