The Erie County Republican Party decided not to sweep out the young and bring in the old, after all.
A party meeting last week pitted Matt Old, 24, the incumbent chairman seeking a second term, against a veteran challenger -- Milan Mayor Robert Bickley, 75, who served as the party's chairman from 1974 to 1976.
Members of the party's central committee, meeting last week, elected to retain Old, giving him a new four-year term. Results of the vote weren't released, but Old said he was told he won by a substantial margin.
Other officers who were re-elected include vice chairman C.J. Kamm, secretary Pat Parsons and treasurer Lisa Crescimano. Old also named Nancy McKeen as the party'schairwoman.
Old and Bickley both count themselves as conservatives and Tea Party supporters, so the battle didn't come down to ideology.
Old, a Berlin Township trustee, who created a Facebook page for the county party, said Bickley believes the party has been too aggressive in embracing the Internet.
"He told me it's not all about e-mail, to which I agreed," Old said.
But Old said embracing new technology is critical to the party's health.
"When I took over as chairman, I was handed a box of papers and told, 'Here's the party's files'," Old said.
Bickley said the contest was more about the perception that Old and his friends are a clique.
"There was some concern about maturity," Bickley said.