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Renner not forced to resign GOP post

Andy Renner, the former chairman of the Marengo County Republican Party, submitted his resignation Tuesday but GOP official Paul Reynolds denied a Birmingham News report that Renner did so under pressure from state officials.

He further denied saying that Renner accepted $34,000 from Democratic Party chair Dr. Paul Hubbert, also cited in the News’ article.

On Wednesday, The Demopolis Times talked with Alabama Republican Party member and national committee member Paul Reynolds and Renner.

Renner, a resident of Demopolis, became the chair of the Marengo County Republican Party soon after the passing of Drew Johnson in August 2009. In March, he formed a political action committee called True Republican PAC, which created TV ads calling Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne a “Republican in name only,” as Byrne was once a Democrat who supported the campaign of President Bill Clinton.

The PAC was also funded by state Democratic Party leaders including Dr. Paul Hubbert, who is president of the Alabama Education Association.

Reynolds said he did not tell The Birmingham News that Renner was paid $34,000 by the Alabama Education Association for the work he did for True Republican PAC. Neither Reynolds nor Renner knew where that figure came from.

Renner said he was not forced into resigning as chair of the Marengo County Republican Party. While the chair of the state Republican Party, Mike Hubbard, did send Renner a letter asking for his resignation when it was found that he was in charge of True Republican PAC, members of the state Republican Party met with Renner in Demopolis on July 1 to discuss what had happened.

When Renner was told how the party felt about his ads, he said he voluntarily offered his resignation. Renner said party officials told him, “That’s not why we’re here,” but Renner said he wanted to offer his resignation anyway.

Alabama District 7 Republican Party chair Pierce Boyd said the state party would hold a meeting in Marengo County soon to reorganize the county’s party.

More information will be made available in the weekend issue of The Demopolis Times.