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Gingrich S.C. county co-chair removed, replaced


COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A South Carolina political activist, listed as one of Newt Gingrich’s 44 county co-chairs here, asked to have her name removed from that list.

Joanne Burroughs, who serves as the Greenwood County Republican Party executive committeeman, said she told a Gingrich staffer that she would serve as a liaison between her county and the campaign (as she does for all candidates) but that she didn’t know she would also be listed as a county co-chair.

“I was called and asked if I could be a contact person in case anything came up in our county,” Burroughs told NBC News. “That does not mean that I’m endorsing Newt.”

Burroughs added that, as a member of the South Carolina Republican Party executive committee, she would not be making an official endorsement but that she is “a very strong Mitt Romney fan.”

Burroughs said her inclusion on the list might have been a “misunderstanding” between her and DeLinda Ridings, Gingrich’s Midlands director who contacted her.

Ridings told NBC that she asked Burroughs, “will you help me as the county chair in Greenwood,” but that Burroughs “misunderstood what I was asking about.”

Burroughs’ name was removed from the Gingrich website, Newt.org, by this afternoon. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said the Gingrich campaign still has “complete leadership” throughout the state, as Beth Taylor of Greenwood County will fill the co-chair position.