By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Jefferson County's Republican Party is now under new leadership.
Mark Marlow, who has been a precinct committeeman in Webber Township for over 50 years, was elected unanimously by party leaders during a reorganizational meeting held Thursday night.
Marlow replaces longtime chairman Richard Stubblefield, who held the position for 12 years.
"I'm honored the committeemen chose to elect me in a position of leadership for the Republican party," Marlow said in a telephone interview Thursday night. "I will do my best to lead the party and to slate the best possible candidates for future elections. I will have a hard man to follow. Richard did a tremendous job as our party leader."
In addition to his position as a committeeman, Marlow served on the Jefferson County Board for 23 years, was a township supervisor for eight years, town clerk for four years, and a trustee for four years.
Ironically, Marlow and the Democrat party chairman, Mary Alice Harris, both reside in Webber Township.
Stubblefield said of the selection, "I've had a good run, and a lot of cooperation from the committee. The community has responded well to our candidates. It's time for new leadership."
Subblefield will remain as a committeeman in Mt. Vernon 8, at least until the end of his term in March 2014.
"The chairmanship requires burdensome paperwork and lots of travel," Stubblefield said. He and his wife Carolyn have decided that spending time with their grandsons in California takes a higher priority than party leadership. They will also be active supporters of the Sara Elizabeth Stubblefield Foundation. The Foundation, created and named in honor of their late daughter, awards scholarships each year to persons who have been diagnosed with epilepsy. Sara Stubblefield was the director of the Southern Illinois Epilepsy Foundation located in Mt. Vernon and died March 2011.