This past Saturday, March 7th 2009, the Allen County Republican Party held a Caucus at South Side. Â One of the largest matters on the agenda was the election of officers. Â As you know, Steve Shine was re-elected as Chairman. Â Here are the others elected to various offices:
Chairman: Steve Shine
Vice Chairman: Candice Fries
Treasurer: Â Bob Lee
Secretary: Tom Rotering
Membership: Audrey Queckenbermer
Events: Todd Fruehling
Candidate Development: Mitch Harper
Fundraising: Kurt Gutman
Auditing: Ab CrosbyÂ
Dan Jehl’s coverage of this Caucus as well as the Democrat’s Caucus may be found on the Frost Illustratetd website. Â Here are some highlights:
[…] Â At Allen County Democratic Headquarters on Bluffton Road, Andy Downs, IPFW Political Science instructor, announced Mike Bynum as the winner in a 63-41 vote over challenger Pat Moore, Democratic Party secretary since 2005.
Saturday’s voting culminated an election of vigorous campaigning in past few weeks, but it didn’t start that wayâ€”and it wasn’t that way the last time or several times before that.
A month ago, it appeared that Shine and Bynum would go unchallenged, and then things changed. In 16 years, Shine has never been challenged, and Bynum was the sole Democrat to step up to be party chairman when Kevin Knuth stepped down in January 2008. Bynum’s appointment marked the first African American chair in party history.
Moore announced her challenge to Bynum in February and waged a spirited campaign. Moore, a Central grad, former resident of the Democratic Women’s Club, and, today, community healthcare advocate member of Hoosiers for a CommonSense Health Plan, was openly critical of party organizational matters under Bynum.
Moore’s punches were in her three-minute speech before the voting. She noted the failing of the Allen County party to work closely with the Allen County for Obama (AC4O) group, headed by national Democratic Party delegate Sofia Rodriquez-Mirwaldt, during the 2008 presidential campaign.
[…] Â After the vote, Bynum said, “We have one goal (and) we are inclusive.”The momentum we had going into this election, I believe, was a carryover from the fall election. I want to continue to keep that going,” said Bynum.
[…] Â It started in February when Republican supporters of 2007’s unsuccessful mayoral candidate Matt Kelty tried to get someone to run against Shine. E-mails to party faithful by Kelty supporters expressed criticism of Shine although he steered the party through difficult waters caused by the Kelty campaign financing issue-storm of 2007, which storm impeded a Republican chance to beat Democratic mayoral winner Tom Henry.The Keltyites’ first choice to unseat Shine was Councilman Mitch Harper (Rep-District 4) who expressed displeasure that the e-mail campaign implied he was part of the effort. Harper did not seek the office. Runestad and the three other challengers stepped up creating the crowded field of five, including Shine, vying for party head.
Criticism of Shine intensified leading up to the election. At the caucus, Shine called it “bunk,” noting that he led a financial turnaround since 2007 of the party, nearly wiping out its debt. He also reminded party members of the sweeping winning record of Republican candidates on the 2008 ballot in Allen County winning, including presidential candidate Senator John McCain.
The pre-vote rhetoric at Saturday’s election was far from calm. Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters bluntly said, “Obviously, there’s some dissension among the ranks.”
[…] Â After the vote, Runestad said: “We will be watching to make sure that Chairman Shine follows through, and we can initiate change in a number of different ways.” And, Shine said, “Competition keeps the leadership keen.”