By Dan Spalding
It’s Labor Day weekend and local candidates are about to flip the switch on what might be one of the most contested elections by Kosciusko County Dems in a long, long time.
While several local Democrats have had signs out for weeks, look for Republicans to quickly match that this week as the traditional campaign season gets underway.
Thanks to a burst of late filings this summer, Democrats will offer voters choices in numerous races. Here’s what voters will consider when they cast or mail in their ballots in the coming weeks.
Three Dems (Noemi Ponce, Itanya Coon-Kauffman and Lori Roe) will vie for three at-large seats on county council against three Republicans (Joni Truex, Sue Ann Mitchell and Kathy Groninger).
Democrat Antony Garza and Republican Chad Miner are battling for the Superior 3 Court race. Warsaw Republican Craig Snow will face Wabash Democrat Chad Harris for the District 18 State House seat. Democrat Kelly Thompson is challenging Republican incumbent Curt Nisly for the House District 22 seat and Republican incumbent Stacey Donato will face Democrat Laura Fred-Smith for the State Senate District 18 race. In the State Senate District 9 race, Republican Ryan Mishler faces a challenge from Democrat Brandon Cavanaugh.
Will this year be any different for Dems in the overwhelmingly conservative county of Kosciusko? Considering the fact that it’s still a hard nut to crack for Republican outsiders to win nominations against party insiders, it’s probably still a long shot for Dems to be victorious in November.
Is there any chance the Dems could benefit from a strong showing by Joe Biden versus Donald Trump? Probably another very long shot, for sure.
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DEBATES? – As a result of the uncustomary competition, there’s a lot of potential for some local debates in the coming weeks, but if it’s going to happen, it needs to be organized soon. If there are any groups interested in organizing one, InkFreeNews looks forward to learning about it and participating.
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EVENTS – Democrat candidate Travis McConnell will have a fundraiser Thursday, Sept. 10, at Bomy’s Authentic Indian Food, a new Warsaw restaurant that will soon open at 1403 E. Winona Ave. The event begins at 5 p.m. McConnell is challenging Cary Groninger for a seat on the county commissioners.
Also, if you’re a candidate with an event you’d like to publicize, please contact me via email with enough lead time to promote it here in Poli (Sigh).
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A VERY BAD DAY – President Donald Trump has had some difficult days in his first term, but Friday was probably the worst after The Atlantic reported disparaging comments made by Trump about military veterans in which he described them as losers and suckers. One can claim “fake news” all day long, but this report was confirmed by other major news outlets including Fox News.
It was a uniquely odd week for Trump. On two occasions, he encouraged voters in North Carolina to vote twice, which would undoubtedly be a crime. He also tried to defund Stars & Stripes, the independent military newspaper that’s been around since the Civil War. Trump then backtracked on that plan Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Indiana’s Third District Congressman Jim Banks, a strong supporter of Trump who has a military background, defended the president over the Atlantic article in a tweet posted Friday. Indiana Sen. Todd Young, who also served in the military, did not issue any statements about Trump’s alleged comments.
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ELECTION DAY COUNTDOWN – There are now 58 more days until the Nov. 3 Election Day. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5.
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.