In a close vote on Saturday, the Spokane County Republican Party replaced it chairwoman with the former mayor of Airway Heights.
Precinct committee officers voted 91-85 for Matthew Pederson, a current Airway Heights city councilman, over the incumbent leader, Cindy Zapotocky.
Heading into the race, Zapotocky was seen to have backing from the grassroots of the party while Pederson was supported by many elected Republicans, including Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin.
Supporters of Zapotocky said she was a tireless advocate for GOP candidates and stood up for concerns from the grassroots. Opponents argued that she was divisive and unable to bring unity to the party.
Pederson said Saturday evening that he’s confident that the party will unite with the new leadership team.
The party elected Laurie Roth, a conservative talk show host based in Elk, vice chairwoman. Roth has backing from some Tea Party supporters and on her Web site accuses President Barack Obama of attempting to turn the United States into a communist-style regime.