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State GOP leaders call on Harris to resign as chairman

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Republican Party leadership is calling on Chairman Mak Harris to consider resigning from the position following “multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior.”

Mark Harris (File)

Executive director John Findlay and Board of Officers members issued the statement on Saturday. Harris stated he was not aware of the request until contacted by MetroNews.

“Recently, multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior by Mark Harris, West Virginia Republican Party Chair, have been brought to the attention of the officers of the Party, both individually and collectively,” Findlay and the officers stated.

“Given the nature and credibility of the allegations and the critical need for utmost integrity and continuity in the Republican Party, we see no other option than to request Mark Harris immediately consider resignation at this time.”

The officers did not detail the allegations against Harris, who said he was surprised by the statement.

“I’m not prepared to speak about it because this is news to me,” he told MetroNews.

A Republican Party source contended Harris knew about a looming call to resign. The person told MetroNews the request stems from inappropriate comments he made to other Republican officials.

State party officials elected Harris as chairman in March 2021 after a tenure as chairman of the Raleigh County Republican Executive Committee. Former Chairwoman Melody Potter, whose January 2021 resignation opened the position, endorsed Harris to lead the state party.

Harris served as the chief of staff at the Beckley VA Medical Center from 2017 to 2019. He was dismissed following an investigation into sexual assault allegations against a former doctor. Jonathan Yates later admitted to molesting three patients; he was sentenced in January 2021 to 25 years in federal prison.

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