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Similar result likely in GOP déjÀ vu race


Four years ago, Allen County GOP Chairman Steve Shine faced a challenge for the party leadership from a right-wing financial adviser. Shine won handily.

On March 2, Shine will again face a challenge for the party leadership by a right-wing financial adviser. Don’t be surprised if he again wins handily.

Jason Arp, president of J. Arp & Co., has declared his candidacy for the chairmanship. He is a member of the steering committee of the Allen County 9-12 group, a tea party-type organization that derives its name from the date after 9-11 and for its nine principles and 12 values.

In a letter to Republican precinct committeemen and vice committeemen – who vote to select the chairman – Arp emphasizes patriotism, liberty and limited government. But his most specific argument has some problems. The “Party Leadership seems to overwhelmingly select candidates for National offices that are less than stellar on these issues and appear to be disingenuous at best,” his letter reads. But primary voters, not party leadership, select the candidates – as proven when tea party fave Richard Mourdock beat Richard Lugar in last year’s GOP Senate primary. And in northeast Indiana, hardly anyone would describe U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman as anything but conservative.

In 2009, Shine defeated financial adviser Ric Runestad 211-88 with three other men in the race – a result greeted with a chorus of boos from the Shine opponents.

Ironically, Shine appointed Arp to a precinct committeeman spot just four months ago.

Campaign finance

Finance reports covering 2012 were due from candidates’ campaigns and other political committees last week, and one of the more interesting filings concerns the 2014 election.

Allen County Chief Deputy Sheriff David Gladieux has gained a big head start in next year’s sheriff’s race, raising nearly $48,000. He spent nearly half that, much of it going for printing, shirts and fundraiser expenses as well as contributions to other Republican candidates, the GOP central committee and to non-profit agencies.

And though County Commissioner Linda Bloom has not yet announced whether she is running for a seventh term in 2014, she ended 2012 with a whopping – at least for a county office – $98,000 in the bank. She spent about $14,000 in 2012, most of it contributions to other candidates and non-profits.

Other interesting filings concern campaigns from 2011 – and even earlier. For example, the Allen County Election Board lists reports from 19 candidates as late or defective, including 2011 GOP mayoral candidates Eric Doden and Paula Hughes, as well as 2011 Democratic City Council candidate Karen Goldner. Candidates whose campaign committees remain open are supposed to file annual reports.

Another candidate listed as late: 2007 mayoral candidate Matt Kelty, whose report apparently arrived several hours past deadline. Kelty’s report indicated he had still had made no payments on the loans for his campaign that triggered a criminal investigation and conviction.

Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, has worked at The Journal Gazette since 1981. He can be reached at 461-8113 or by email,