GOP chairwoman may try to keep post

After re-election loss, Kaneshiki said to be reviewing bylaws

In an apparent attempt to stay on as chairwoman despite losing her re-election bid to the Blair County Republican Committee, Lois Kaneshiki is reviewing the committee’s bylaws to potentially pitch a change so that a nonmember can serve as chairperson, Mike Routch confirmed.

“She’s been re­viewing what other committees have done. We believe she is looking into whatever would require her to run for chairperson. Ap­parently there are committees in Pennsylvania where you do not have to be on the committee to be chairperson,” Routch said.

Currently, the bylaws of the Blair County committee allow nonvoting members who are not elected members of the committee. They are “at large” positions, but to be chair of the committee, one must be a member, according to the bylaws.

Any proposed change to the bylaws would have to be submitted to the full membership during a regular meeting and ap­proved by three-quarters of the membership.

The committee is to hold a reorganization meeting within 30 days of the May 15 election. However, that meeting is solely for reorganization.

The committee’s bylaws state the duties of the chairperson are to preside at all meetings and appoint chairs of standing committees.

But to Routch, the position has more influence than the bylaws suggest.

“I always considered it to be the leader, the face, the one who is in charge and is pushing the committee ahead.”

Kaneshiki declined to comment on her strategy for continuing as chairwoman when contacted by the Mirror.

Newcomer Jim Foreman and incumbent Routch defeated Kaneshiki in a three-way race May 15 for two seats on the committee from Blair Township Precinct 1. Kaneshiki previously had been elected to for five consecutive two-year terms. Kaneshiki is also on the Hollidaysburg Area School Board and has been no stranger to controversy.

Routch said when unofficial primary election results came in last week, the media attention that she has drawn to herself as a school board member has been a concern for the committee.

“Clearly within the committee we watch carefully when she is all over media and in the newspaper within her capacity as school board member,” Routch said. “It pains us sometimes, even though she is not speaking on behalf of the committee when she is working on school board. It affects us because she is our chairwoman. … It’s just the publicity she generates moving forward with her ideas that concerns us. We don’t want to get caught up with the politics of the Hollidaysburg Area School Board. That creates a concern with our local party.”

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435