Referring to him only as “Bob’s opponent,” Ms. Catsimatidis accused Mr. Reilly of “sending out blast emails to many thousands of individuals, many of whom have no prior connection to the club or our Republican community, spreading rumors absurdly claiming that Bob is part of an ‘anti-Trump takeover’ of the Met Club.”
She added, “We just can’t let the ballot box in effect be stuffed by false claims,” and went on to urge the recipients of her email to join the club before midnight so that they could provide an electoral counterweight to the new members recruited by Mr. Reilly.
The dueling membership drives more than doubled the club’s size. In early December, there were slightly more than 300 members, according to Mr. Morgan’s son, Robert Morgan Jr., who is on the club’s executive committee and supports his father. He said nearly 500 people joined that month.
Members can vote by attending a meeting on Wednesday or by proxy.
Interviews with club officials left it unclear how Mr. McInnes was invited to speak at the club in October and what Mr. Reilly’s role was.
In the Dec. 28 Facebook post, Mr. Reilly boasted that as executive committee chairman, he had transformed the club “into New York City’s conservative stronghold,” and he cited other speakers who have appeared there during his tenure, including Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter.
Mr. Morgan, the candidate, said in an interview that he voted for Mr. Trump and supports him. At the same time, he sees the club as belonging to a long tradition of New York Republicanism, associated with moderate figures like the former State Senator Roy M. Goodman. He said Rudolph W. Giuliani, too, drew club support in his mayoral campaigns, at a time when Mr. Giuliani was far more liberal than he is today.
“Our club has a long tradition of electing conservative-to-moderate Republicans who fit in with the community,” Mr. Morgan said. “It’s an important pillar of the Republican community, and I think my election will mean that it will continue to represent the mainstream Republicans on the East Side and in Manhattan.”