Changes to the Trumbull County Republican Party bylaws which included endorsing candidates in the primary were voted down by committee members.
 
"I am totally opposed to our party trying to pre-endorse. That is the voter's determination on election day period," Committeeman Bob Tucker said.
 
"The problem is when it comes down to endorsements it should only be for the election, not the primary because they just took the voice away from all the people," Charles Johnston said.
 
Johnston is a candidate for State Central Committeeman running to represent Ashtabula, Geauga, and Trumbull Counties. 
 
At least two-thirds of the committee members present at a meeting would have to vote to issue an endorsement or to denounce candidates.
 
Some people have a problem with denouncing candidates saying all Republicans should have a fair chance of running for election in primaries.
 
The Trumbull Republican party chairman explained there are positives to endorsing in the primary races. 
 
One he told central committee members is that many other county parties endorse in the primaries, and some of their major donors also suggested the Trumbull GOP endorse in primaries.  
 
"That would benefit the public because we are getting a slew of candidates we don't know if they're qualified. This is the Republican Party, these candidates need to be vetted so the public knows exactly who's running for an elected position," Chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party Mike Bollas explained. 
 
He tells us the by-laws would have required Central Committee Members to refrain from making any public statement on social media or in the newspaper about any other member of the Republican Party or candidate of the party to reduce divisiveness.
 
But some say this violates free speech guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
 
 "We should never tell candidates what they can and can't say. It's an election. We talk about why we are better than the other candidate, which sometimes gets a little heated. The party bylaws should not be dictating our freedom of speech. Even the Democrats don't do that," Trumbull Commissioner and Auxiliary Chairwoman of the Trumbull Republican Party, Niki Frenchko said. 
 
Expressing support for a candidate who is not a Republican could have also resulted in being sanctioned or expelled with a two-thirds vote of committee members. 
 
 The censure against Niki Frenchko who is the Trumbull Republican Party Auxiliary Chair, and a Republican candidate for Sheriff was rescinded. The vote was 24 to 14.
 
The party chairman says a new committee will be formed to go back and simplify proposed changes to the bylaws in the future. 
 
The endorsements and other changes would have been for next year.