Malta GOP loses longtime member

"It's all about who likes who better," she said. "The focus is not on who can do the job. Instead, it's been a popularity contest."

Smith said the committee acted properly; it was members such as Gizzi who broke rank.

"Basically they decided last year to support unendorsed candidates and to support Democrats instead of Republicans," he said. "If you're in a Republican committee, what you do in the voting booth is your own business, but publicly you should support the party's candidate."

Gizzi said her suggestion that elected officials should not serve on the committee "fell on deaf ears." In that way, she applauded Winter's resignation, saying "the more elected officials we get off, the better."

Winters said he is glad to be off the committee.

"I hate to say it this way, but I feel it's a power struggle," he said.

He also hopes the membership of the committee will be shaken up in the future.

Residents who wish to serve on the Malta Republican Committee must circulate a petition among the Republicans of their district. A completed petition must be turned into the Saratoga County Board of Elections by July 10. If more than two people are vying for seats in any district, the decision will be made by voters in the Sept. 9 primary.

"If it goes to a primary, I think it's fine," said Winters. "The public will get a chance to pick someone, not a certain group of people.""

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