MassGOP’s executive committee has accepted the resignation of Tom Mountain as vice chairman, according to party officials.
“Earlier tonight, the Massachusetts Republican Party Executive Committee voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Tom Mountain as Republican State Committee Vice Chairman,” party Chairman Jim Lyons said in a statement.
Lyons, who told the Herald he was not included in the email thread where Mountain sent out his resignation, said the vote means Mountain is removed from party leadership but remains a state committee member.
Mountain’s somewhat unexpected resignation as vice-chairman came less than a day before party leadership was slated to disscuss “allegations” against the former vice-chairman and make a “recommendation for potential actions,” according to an agenda shared with the Herald.
Lyons elaborated, saying the allegations came “from recent articles that have shown up on a blog indicating he has been involved in very bizarre, disgusting and very demeaning behavior towards women.”
The site, Turtleboy Daily News, published a series of articles last week that accused Mountain of making “creepy” online comments on photos of young women on social media. It also detailed an apparent catfishing scheme where Mountain appeared to share intimate details about his sex life and preferences.
The Herald has not been able to independently confirm or deny the reports.
Mountain chalked the posts up to a “fraudulent conspiracy” in a Sunday night letter to fellow committee members announcing his resignation.
In his letter, he said he has retained legal counsel and an investigator to obtain the necessary records from Facebook that he needs to “ensure that the individuals who perpetrated this crime are held accountable, civilly and criminally.”
Mountain appeared to refer to a series of scandals that have gripped the MassGOP in recent months that have put him at odds with Lyons.
“During the past few months of turmoil at the MassGOP, I’ve consistently said that incapable officers should step aside. Regardless of the truth about what happened, this blog post, and the conspiracy behind it, has rendered me incapable of serving as an effective officer of the MassGOP,” Mountain said.
Mountain last week told the Herald that Lyons should “do the party a favor and leave” after a group of 16 state Republican donors threatened to cut off funding without a change in leadership and pledging $1 million to the state committee to “take action.”
Gov. Charlie Baker, seven former party leaders and 29 of the 30 Republican state representatives had all previously called on Lyons to resign over his refusal to demand the resignation of GOP committeewoman Deborah Martell who in a May 15 email said she was “sickened” to hear that Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette, a gay man, had adopted children with his husband.
Lyons condemned the homophobic comments but rebuffed pleas from some party members that he demand Martell’s resignation, saying he would not bend to the influence of “woke mob cancel culture.”
The next vice-chairman will be elected at the state Republican Party’s September meeting, per MassGOP bylaws, Lyons said.
Potential names to take over the No. 2 position at MassGOP include one-time state Senate candidate and Belmont Committeeman Steven Aylward.
Aylward did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Statw Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, who unsuccessfully ran against Lyons in the January party leadership election, told the State House News Service he’s decidedly not up for the job.
“Given that the vice-chair doesn’t have any authority to create substantive change within the party, coupled with the fact that Chairman Lyons and his minions seem intent on continuing down the path of attacking anyone who doesn’t pass their ‘purity’ test and drive even more people from the ranks of the GOP — I am not inclined to throw my hat in the ring and be tied to his continued missteps,” Dooley told the News Service.
Herald wire services contributed to this report.