GOP State Chair Update

We’ll try to keep everyone updated with anything new we hear about the GOP State Chair contest. 

First, we’re going to say that Cam Savage is aggressively going after the State Chair position.  Yes, we heard he is on his honeymoon but our blog has three pro-Cam comments so someone is keeping things moving while he is out of town.  At the very least, he wants his name in the mix.  

Second, Mike Gentry has started a Facebook group for his campaign for State Chair.  We’ve heard he has had some battles with the 18 member State Committee that votes on the position. If he cannot find a way to make amends with some of those folks, he will have serious problems building any meaningful support.

Third, Kevin Kellems indicated in the Star article today that he was actively seeking the Chairman’s position even before Jim Kittle was officially out of the race.  We were able to get a copy of a press release that Kellems sent to Brian Howey and several others in Republican circles. 

Reliable sources say that at the encouragement of several key GOPers, Kellems made a round of exploratory calls over the past 48 hours. Kellems has deep and broad experience in politics, journalism and government – from extensive local involvement in the Jefferson County GOP’s recent renaissance – all the way to the White House under Dick Cheney, and much in between.  Kellems now enjoys the active support of Sen-elect Dan Coats and several rising star members of the Hoosier GOP congressional delegation-as well as many of the key district and county chairmen they answer to. Sources say Kellems’ platform includes a focus on the crucial party-strengthening role of local committees in recruiting the best candidates; an openness to the dedicated conservative activists, fund-raisers and donors; and a respect for the new blood and energy which 2010 brought the GOP from grassroots activism including the Tea Party. In other words, Kellems appears uniquely positioned by experience, temperament and a deep rolodex to bridge the divide, and leverage his well-honed strategic messaging and tireless fund-raising skills to sustain and extend GOP gains. And, of course, to champion the Governor’s rapidly growing record of reforms – as a Daniels disciple. Our sources say he’ll get in fast, run hard, be inclusive, and be hard to catch.

We’re going to guess that Mitch supporters aren’t going to be too pleased to hear that Kellems was running against Jim Kittle while claiming to be “a Daniels disciple”.  It is well-known that the Governor was supportive of Kittle running for State Chair up until the unfortunate events this week. 

Finally, we’ve heard that the State Committee vote will be taking place mid-January.  This is going to be a long month of speculation so stay tuned.

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