Linda Sorenson took the advice of Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee and resigned last week as chair of the Delta County Republican Party.
Sorenson has been embattled since she shared a Facebook meme, first reported on this very blog, comparing Obama to a Chimpanzee.
Asked about the meme in May, Sorenson told me it was a joke and that she didn’t care if “people are offended by it.” Later, Delta Republican Party officials told the Grand Junction Sentinel that Sorenson’s Facebook page had “definitely” been hacked.
All this led to calls for Sorenson’s resignation last month by the local chapter of the NAACP and the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance.
State Party Chair Steve House, along with Vice Chair Derrick Wilburn, said racism has no place in the Colorado Republican Party and promised racial sensitivity training. But they never publicly called for Sorenson’s resignation.
Rep. Scott Tipton made similar comments after the meme surfaced and again after Sorenson resigned, telling the Colorado Statesman through a spokesperson Thursday that he “condemns any comments, social media posts or statements that have any racist connotations.”
As the Sorenson issue percolated, Tipton and other Republicans did not respond to Facebook posts by the Otero Country GOP chair, one of which referred to the “black population” as “hatred filled beings.”
It looked like Sorenson would remain in her position until a committee of Delta County Republicans apparently investigated the incident, at the suggestion of Sheriff McKee, and issued a report June 30. The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning reported Thursday:
Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee at a closed-door meeting attended by Colorado GOP chairman Steve House earlier in June proposed that the county party establish a committee tasked with investigating the incident, saying he had been hearing from local Republicans “concerned about our reputation,” according to an account in the Delta County Independent.
The local party’s accountability committee had until the end of the month to complete its investigation and deliver a report…
Before he met with Sorenson and other local Republicans on June 6, House told The Statesman he expected the meeting — held while House was on a tour to meet with state Republicans — would “yield a resolution on the future of the Republican Party leadership in Delta County.”
A state party spokesman emphasized that House didn’t intend to ask Sorenson to resign, but House added, “To be clear, we do not support any action that is racially insensitive by any member of the Colorado Republican Party.”
Sorenson submitted a terse resignation letter, obtained from a source:
June 30, 2016
Delta County Republican Central Committee
After meeting with the Accountability Committee this evening, Sheriff McKee recommended I resign.
I resign my position of Delta County Chairman as of 7:45 PM, June 30, 2016.