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HC GOP chairman Fluhr responds

Palmyra Republicans are fortunate two very qualified candidates sought the Republican nomination for clerk-treasurer. Having met neither candidate before this started, I listened to their convention speeches and found both impressive. The one-vote margin was unsurprising.

One candidate wrote (the above) letter: the losing candidate. The letter omits this fact. Losing can, understandably, impact one’s opinion.

Some facts:

It would have been unfair to hold the convention at a town facility like the town hall or senior center; the incumbent candidate would have enjoyed homefield advantage. The town convention chair could not find another suitable location in town. Law provides the county seat can host the convention when this happens.

The convention was under statutory deadline and had to accommodate schedules of individuals conducting it. No matter when, unfortunately someone could be inconvenienced. Some people have Sunday afternoon or evening church; earlier Sunday would have excluded them.

Law requires three public postings in town and a county clerk filing. We did so and went further with newspaper, online and Facebook postings. Law — amazingly — does not require telling candidates anything, but, in fairness, I contacted both Sunday afternoon to explain the process and answer their questions.

Neither location, time, date, nor notice prevented the Palmyra convention from having greater proportional turnout than Corydon’s a week earlier.

The convention is a Republican Party function for longtime Republicans to choose their party’s nominee. Both candidates invited supporters to participate regardless of primary vote history (Indiana’s only way to determine party affiliation). Someone running this November against Republican town council candidates even carpooled people. Those that were not longtime Republicans could not participate.

The author is upset I would not sign authorizing individuals with Democratic history, no primary history or newer Republican history to participate. However, the author neglects to mention I signed authorizing the candidates, including the author, and their spouses, along with someone who persuasively argued his voting history excluded time before moving here.

The rules were explained to the author in advance. The convention approved them unanimously. The author voted for them. The rules contain a challenge process, but this is for deciding disputes like residency questions, e.g. the town council candidate recently removed from the ballot over not living in town long enough. It is not to override the chairman’s signing decision. That decision remains the chairman’s discretion.

Palmyra has a reputation for boisterous politics. My refusal to sign led some to shout angrily, apparently determined they could participate if only they were loud enough. Had I signed, longtime Republicans probably would have shouted instead. The loser might still have written a newspaper letter. Signing for everyone would have placed my decision above longtime Palmyra Republicans entrusted with choosing their nominee. It was important their voice be heard. Signing for others to participate could have grown the margin or changed the outcome. There is no way to know.

Ultimately, what troubles the author is losing. As someone who hates losing, I understand. Unfortunately, with two candidates running, one had to lose.

Scott Fluhr, Chairman, Harrison County Republican Party