Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/23/2012 06:44:25 PM PDT

The state Democratic party has invalidated the election for chairman of the San Bernardino County party, leaving the first vice chair in charge until a new election is held in September.

Patrick Kahler of Highland, a high school math teacher and longtime committee member who initially was declared the winner of the July 26 election, said he supported the decision and looked forward to the September election.

“It’s a democratic process, and I respect it,” he said. “I’m still doing many things to support the party in raising funds, help candidates get elected.”

Kahler and Mark Westwood, host of KCAA-AM’s “Political Hour” and another longtime member, both received 26 votes in the first round of voting for the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee’s biannual reorganizing meeting.

The previous chairman, Ron Wall, presided over the meeting and cast the deciding vote for Kahler.

Wall’s vote was not allowed under county committee bylaws because voting had already closed, according to a decision by the state party’s compliance review commission.

In addition, the state commission overruled the county committee’s decision not to allow a vote to ex-officio member Gregg Fritchle, who lives in Los Angeles County.

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