I was not surprised to see the article by Ric Runestad in support of Jason Arp for Allen County GOP chairman. After all, Runestad lost by a 3-1 margin to Steve Shine in the 2009 election for the Allen County GOP chairmanship.
As an active member of the Allen County GOP, I have never seen Arp at a single event. Under Shine’s leadership, the Allen County GOP provides so many ways to become involved — from serving as a volunteer to attending fundraisers to serving on one of the by-law committees — and, yet, Arp has done none of them.
Arp has not even voted regularly, which means he did not support, in the most basic way possible, the candidates for the very political party he says he wants to lead. The votes mattered — he did not support Paula Hughes for mayor, Marlin Stutzman for Congress or any of our other qualified and diligent candidates who ran for city, county, township, state and federal offices in 2010 and 2011.
The chairmanship is not a position someone should seek as a way to start his or her involvement, especially when so much is at stake. How can Arp possibly have the knowledge necessary to operate a political organization as expansive and influential as the Allen County GOP?
As for me, I’m supporting Steve Shine for re-election.