The embattled state of Mississippi just lost a young conservative leader to the ongoing Tea Party vs. establishment civil war. Evan Alvarez, the chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans, has resigned his post and will be changing his party affiliation to Democrat “within the next few days.”
Unsurprisingly, in his resignation letter, Alvarez attributed his decision in part to the belief that tea party activists have too much of a voice in the party, “and because of that, the platform of the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion.”
The Clarion Ledger explains the events leading up to the abrupt resignation, which appears to be illustrative of a widening rift between Mississippi’s Tea Party supporters and more mainstream, young conservatives. Alvarez’s resignation comes on the heels of a refusal by the MFCR board to remove Kolby Busby from the organization. Busby was facing impeachment charges over two robocalls on behalf of Chris McDaniel in the Republican Party primary and primary runoff for U.S. Senate. Busby’s calls affiliated himself with MFCR, insinuating an endorsement that violated the organization’s policy of remaining neutral in primaries.
Alvarez describes the decision not to impeach Busby to the Clarion Ledger:
“When we informed him there wasn’t going to be an impeachment, but simply a reprimand and apology his attitude became more ignorant and cruel. He said he was not apologizing for anything and refused to be reprimanded for the two robocalls. At that point myself and the staffer at the GOP decided to cancel the meeting that day, and push it back to another Saturday in the coming month. We came to that conclusion because there was no way we would be able to have an effective meeting with roughly 35 yelling tea partiers in the lobby of the building, that were feeding Busby’s ignorant attitude.”
Alvarez’s resignation adds to the losses the Mississippi Tea Party has faced in the aftermath of one of the ugliest primary elections in the Mississippi Republican party’s recent history, rife with dirty tricks, scandals and criminal investigations. Mark Mayfield, a state Tea Party leader and volunteer for the McDaniel campaign accused of being a ringleader in a smear campaign against Thad Cochran, was found dead in his garage last week from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Thad Cochran is slated to be the Republican Senate nominee, although Chris McDaniel has demanded a recount and refuses to concede the race.