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

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