Ann Clanton out as executive director of RIGOP

By Dan McGowan

The executive director of Rhode Island’s beleaguered Republican Party has resigned, has learned.

Ann Clanton, who was appointed to the post in March 2012, left the party earlier this month after Mark Smiley won a controversial election to become chairman of the party. Clanton supported former Providence mayoral candidate Dan Harrop over Smiley in the chairman’s race.

Smiley told that lawyer Matthew Fabisch has been appointed interim executive director, but is not currently being paid. Campaign finance records show Clanton earned $2,500-per-month between May 2012 and Sept 2012, but did not collect a check from the party for the rest of the year.

Smiley said Fabisch, who serves as chief legal counsel for the libertarian-leaning Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights, will likely be appointed to the post permanently. He said the party is currently executing a fundraising plan that will generate enough money to pay Fabisch.

State Republicans had an especially difficult election cycle in 2012, losing all three federal races and dropping from 18 to 11 seats in the 113-member General Assembly. But there is at least some reason for optimism with popular Cranston Mayor Allan Fung eyeing a run for governor in 2014.

Dan McGowan ( ) covers politics and the city of Providence for Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

6 thoughts on “Ann Clanton out as executive director of RIGOP

  1. I am honored to be asked to serve as the Interim Executive Director of the Rhode Island Republican Party. With a focus on campaign fundamentals and activism, I am confident we are entering the 2014 election cycle with a renewed sense of optimism and vigor under Chairman Smiley’s leadership.

  2. Ann is a nice person, but she was totally ineffectual as the RIGOP Executive Director. She has not been seen or heard from since before the election. Given that she has not been paid since September, most people in the party did not actually realize that Ann was still there even if nominally.

    Regardless of who won, it was expected that the new Chair would appoint his own Executive Director. Best of luck to the new one… you will clearly need it!

  3. She has not been seen or heard from since before the election…. Sounds like your typical Rhode Island Republican.

  4. Another too far to the right republican with no PR sense. Just great. No wonder most of us republicans don’t get involved with such calamity at the state central structure. Mark Smiley clearly has no idea what he’s doing, this appointment says it all.

    • And so, the circular firing squad known as the RIGOP continues its self assault unabated … oh, and Jason? The Liberal Democrats who run this state do mistake your kindness for weakness …. yeah, just what y’all need … a PR Sense, lol

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