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Spokane County Republican Party official receives vote of no confidence

Sept. 6, 2022 Updated Mon., Sept. 12, 2022 at 12:06 p.m.

The executive board of the Spokane County Republican Party in August cast a vote of no confidence in the performance of state committeeman Matt Hawkins.   (Shutterstock)
The executive board of the Spokane County Republican Party in August cast a vote of no confidence in the performance of state committeeman Matt Hawkins.  (Shutterstock)

Spokane County Republican Party leaders have lost confidence in one of their top-ranking officials.

In an Aug. 11 special meeting, the county GOP’s executive board entered a vote of no confidence in Matt Hawkins’ performance as state committeeman. Only one board member voted against the motion.

The no confidence vote signals that Republican leadership condemns Hawkins’ behavior, but it doesn’t remove him from his post. He continues to serve as liaison between the county and state Republican parties.

Brian Steele, chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party, said the vote of no confidence was unrelated to Hawkins’ leadership of the GOP’s election integrity subcommittee.

That committee has lobbied for a thorough review of the county’s 2020 election, arguing the elections system is compromised and claimed, without evidence, that the area’s voter registration records are inaccurate. Elections officials, including two Republican former secretaries of state, have strongly criticized the committee’s actions.

Steele said he couldn’t share specifics on why the executive board cast the no confidence vote because the details were discussed in executive session.

He didoffer a general explanation of what caused Hawkins to lose the support of his fellow Republicans, saying one of Hawkins’ missteps was distributing “unauthorized material” at GOP events.

Precisely what that unauthorized material was, Steele didn’t say. It may have been the interactive American history calendar Hawkins sells for $19.95 through his business, wethepeoplecalendar.com.

Steele also said Hawkins sent derogatory information about his fellow board members to the party’s precinct committee officers. That violated Robert’s Rules of Order, Steele said, referring to the procedural guidelines that most governments follow when running their meetings.

Lastly, Steele said Hawkins has repeatedly acted in ways that exceed his authority as state committeeman.

Hawkins said no one has told him what he’s accused of doing wrong.

“I have no idea what they’re talking about,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.”

Steele said issues relating to Hawkins’ work as state committeeman have been “brewing” since April. He said Hawkins was a topic of discussion in two separate meetings prior to Aug. 11.

Hawkins said he wasn’t at the Aug. 11 meeting. He said he intends to make a motion at the party’s Tuesday meeting asking to make public the information discussed during last month’s executive session.

“I’m not embarrassed by anything that has gone on,” Hawkins said. “I have nothing to hide.”

Editor’s note: Due to incorrect information from a source, the original version of this story incorrectly described the board that cast the vote of no confidence. It was the executive board, which is made up of the party’s top four elected officials and district leaders. 

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