Carbon County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Chavez Jr. resigned Tuesday night. Vice Chair Bridget Dalpiaz has taken his post.
In an e-mail to party members, Mr. Chavez expressed "regret and [utmost] sadness" that he had to leave the post he has held for more than five years.
"My experiences as chairman have helped me grow as a person and given me more than I have given. Thank you for all the support that many of you have given me. My best of luck to my replacement and to the Democratic Party," he concluded.
Mr. Chavez's resignation comes in the wake of a controversy which erupted last week when disgruntled party members accused him of supporting one Democratic candidate over another in the race for county commissioner.
He forwarded to party members an e-mail from candidate Kyle Edwards, in which Mr. Edwards urged party members to vote in the June primary election - and to vote for him. Mr. Chavez explained last week that he made a mistake by focusing only on the get-out-the-vote message and ignoring the
"Vote Kyle Edwards" subject line and content.
Mr. Chavez mass e-mailed a letter of apology and promised never to repeat the mistake.
"He apologized and it should have been left at that, but it wasn't," Ms. Dalpiaz told the Sun Advocate Wednesday. "Ed has been a great chairman, but it was his decision to make," she said of his resignation.
The new party leader emphasized, "I do not want this to be looked at as an embarrasment. As a Democratic county for 60-plus years, we have to stay strong and together."
Ms. Dalpiaz said that State Rep. Christine Watkins, as secretary-treasurer of the local party, has the option to assume the post of vice chair.
She also said that County Commissioner Bill Krompel has agreed to serve as the party's parliamentarian. In this position, he will be a non-voting member of the executive committee and will be the chief interpreter of the party's rules and bylaws. Mr. Krompel is not running for reelection this year.
Speaking of rules, Ms. Dalpiaz said she wanted refute claims that she supports Kyle Edwards over Commissioner John Jones because Edwards' posters on on her lawn.
"It is not my house and not my lawn," she explained. "I rent the house and the landlord put them there."