Vasel Shifts from RTC, Considers Third Party Run
ROCKY HILL - Former Rock Hill Mayor and current Council Minority Leader Henry Vasel won’t be running with the Republican Party this coming November, but he may be mobilizing a group of third party candidates to run with him.

       As of last week, he had filed paperwork with the Town Clerk’s office-topping a tentative list of candidates offered to initiate an “exploratory” phase to determine whether or not he will be moving forward. He emphasized that the list-which includes incumbents Frank Szeps and Catherine Vargas-could still change.

       Vasel and all current Republican councilors were noticeable absent from the Lisa Marotta led slate put out by the RTC last week, and Vasel said that none of them even put their names in for nomination, citing disillusionment with the “two-party system”.

       “My biggest problems with politicians are from the federal level, on down,” Vasel said. “All too often the votes are on the right or left of the issues, and not enough are on the right or the wrong. Politics of the state or federal level should not have a home at the local.”

       When asked to go into specifics, Vasel cited a lack of consensus by both parties on budget appropriations, as well as the still vacant Town Manager position. The latter discussion was stretched by a disagreement regarding Charter language on the votes required to appoint someone to the role-though current Finance Director and Interim Town Manager John Mehr garnered a 5-4 tally along party lines, Republicans contended that a 6 affirmative Super Majority is required.

       After some dispute, the Council as a whole opted to restart the process.

       As for his issues with his own party, Vasel was less specific.

       “There’s always an influence from the ideology of one party,” he said.

       As for his possible third party run, Vasel said that he’s had around “150 people” around town approach him and nudge him toward it. He expects to have his decision by later this week.

       “I’d say, based on the level of support I’ve gotten, stay tuned,” Vasel said.