By Dan Spalding
Democrat Travis McConnell, who is running against Republican Cary Groninger for a Kosciusko County Commissioner seat, is doing his best to woo Republicans to his campaign.
In a letter to the editor to InkFreeNews, McConnell seemed to throw his support behind Craig Snow, a Republican running for State Representative for District 18. He didn’t use the word endorse, mind you, but it certainly read like an endorsement.
Snow faces Democrat Chad Harris, Wabash, in a battle to assume the seat held by Republican Dave Wolkins, who announced his retirement from the General Assembly.
McConnell is also conducting a fundraiser by raffling off a Winchester gun safe, which also seems directed at Republicans.
McConnell says the moves are more of an effort to appeal to all people more than an outright attempt to attract Republicans.
In his younger days, McConnell considered himself as a Republican and even worked for the state GOP as an intern while he was studying at Butler University.
McConnell said he’s become acquainted with Snow through the Morning Optimist Club and said he appreciates the fact Snow “is willing to listen.”
Of course, one could argue that if Dems want to win a county-wide seat, which hasn’t happened in decades, they will need to peel off a few Republican votes to be successful.
Kosciusko County Democratic Chair Brian Smith essentially confirmed that in a short conversation Friday night.
Smith indicated he’s okay with McConnell’s maneuvering.
Smith noted that McConnell never used the “E” word (endorse) and that he just “wants to show that he can work with anyone.”
Smith went as far as to say “it doesn’t bother me.”
Apparently the cross-party support is not going over well with all Dems. Terry Bartley, former county chair, has expressed misgivings.
“That’s unfortunate that somebody feels that way, but to be successful in Kosciusko County, as Democrats we do have to show that we can work in a bipartisan way to get things done,” Smith said.
Fellow lawyer Austin Rovenstine, who serves as the secretary for the county GOP party, weighed in on the circumstances.
“I’m always happy to have anybody support our Republican candidates, so I’m happy to have Travis on board,” Rovenstine said. “Travis is a good guy. I get along with him well, and the competition is good for all of us. If Cary wins this thing, he’ll be a better commissioner because Travis is in the race.”
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THE BIG Q – Some astute observers picked up on the fact there were some “signs” of QAnon in last weekend’s protest in Warsaw that drew attention to child trafficking. It was the second such event in recent weeks and was organized by different groups.
QAnon is the growing group of conspiracy theorists who contend there is a secretive coordinated effort to enslave children and that Donald Trump will eventually lead the way to break it up.
QAnon supporters have been seen at rallies for President Donald Trump, who has yet to disavow the group. The FBI has labeled QAnon a potential domestic terror threat after a number of violent crimes and threats performed in Q’s name. The group rose in notoriety in December 2016 in a story widely known as Pizzagate.
One poster at last week’s rally had a QAnon symbol and one of the comments in our story on Facebook touted the hashtag, #WWG1WGA (“Where we go one, we go all”).
Cassie Rolon, who organized last week’s event, said she was aware of the connection, but said that was not her intention.
“This march wasn’t about that at all as the freedom for the children wanted only facts but you can’t stop people from speaking their minds or making signs,” Rolon said in a message in InkFreeNews.
She also pointed out that she is not a supporter of President Trump.
Others found it bothersome.
“It’s scary that this is moving into the mainstream,” said Brian Smith, Democrat county chair. “To see it in my own community is disturbing.”
As a side note … These are certainly weird times to be a reporter and a consumer of news. In the past two weeks, I got caught off guard by not anticipating the arrival of counter-protesters at a Trump rally in Warsaw. And then we unwittingly covered a protest that might have been organized by a political conspiracy group.
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TRUMP FLOATS – The season of grassroots support continues to blossom locally for President Trump. In addition to re-occurring rallies for Trump in downtown Warsaw, there are two more events planned on Labor Day weekend on two lakes – yes, lakes!
The “Lake Wawasee Patriotic Parade/Rally” will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept., 5, at the Fish Hatchery. The other event begins at 1 p.m. the following day on Lake Tippecanoe.
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ELECTION COUNT DOWN – There is now 65 days until the Nov. 3 Election Day and one month from the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.