Skip Draper is new leader of Orleans County Republican Party

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2019 at 8:33 am

Michael Mele picked as vice chairman

File photo by Tom Rivers: Skip Draper takes the oath of office on Dec. 28, 2017 when he was sworn in as an Orleans County legislator.

ALBION – The Orleans County Republican Party officially has a new leader. Skip Draper was picked unanimously to serve as the party chairman on Saturday.

He succeeds Ed Morgan, who served in the role for 12 ½ years. Morgan resigned on Jan. 24. Draper stepped in as acting chairman. The party’s bylaws give the GOP Committee up to 60 days to choose a successor.

The committee, which has 80 members, met on Saturday morning and picked Draper for the job. Draper had been serving as vice chairman. That spot will now be filled by Michael Mele of Murray, who is the chief deputy for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office. He is also chairman of the Murray Town Republican Committee.

Draper is in his first two-year term as an Orleans County legislator after getting elected in November 2017. Prior to that he served 24 years as the Shelby town supervisor.

His goals are “to keep the party unified and together.” He said his role is to keep party finances sound, and to have quality candidates seek positions at the village, town and county level, as well as for state and federal positions.

This year the election calendar has moved up with local and state primaries now aligned with the federal schedule. That means candidates are circulating petitions for a June 25 primary, instead of one in September. Those petitions are due next week at the Board of Elections.

A primary is expected for county sheriff with current Undersheriff Chris Bourke and Rochester Police Sgt. Brett Sobieraski seeking the position. Randy Bower, the current sheriff, isn’t seeking re-election.

Other primaries also are expected at the town level.

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