GREENFIELD — Janice Silvey’s first job as Hancock County Republican Party chair was to finish the caucus that appointed her. But she couldn’t do it without a little help from the woman who ran against her, Tara Armstrong.
“Do you mind if I help her?” Armstrong jokingly asked the crowd of more than 100, after Silvey faltered in closing the special caucus held Monday night to replace former party chairman Michael Griffin.
Silvey won the seat with 48 of 79 votes cast by party’s voting members. Armstrong received 31 votes.
Silvey is the first female chair in the history of the Hancock County GOP.
Armstrong, GOP vice chairperson, had some practice running the party; she has been serving as acting party chair since Griffin, a U.S. Army reservist, stepped down last month after being called to active duty. He will leave this month to serve eight months in Cuba.
Armstrong and Silvey, the party’s treasurer, are both members of the central committee of the Hancock County GOP.
“It’s not ideal to make a change in the party chair during an election year but that’s the situation we face,” Silvey said. “I believe I’m the best person to continue building on our success,” Silvey said in formal remarks prior to the vote.
Silvey’s next order of business as the party chair will be to replace herself as treasurer, which can be done either through another caucus or by appointment. She is also looking forward to meeting with the party’s leadership to prepare for the November election.
Armstrong will stay on as the party’s vice chair.
“I’ve done a lot for the party and will continue to do a lot for the party,” Armstrong said.