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March 31, 2014

Cass GOP prepares for transition, elections

About 145 attend annual Lincoln Day banquet

Cass County Republicans celebrated their 107th annual Lincoln Day Banquet Sunday amid a transition among its executive committee and preparations for elections this May and November.

About 145 attended the dinner, including U.S. Rep Todd Rokita of Indiana’s 4th Congressional District and state treasurer candidates Don Bates and Kelly Mitchell.

Last year’s dinner came with the announcement of the Cass County GOP’s executive committee. Since then, all four officeholders have resigned.

County precinct committee members have since elected husband and wife David and Destry Richey as the party’s treasurer and secretary, respectively. A chair and vice chair have yet to be elected.

Julie Byrd, the former Cass County Republican Central Committee’s chairwoman, said she resigned because of being unable to devote the amount of time the job required.

“The issue is the time that somebody needs to do that position,” Byrd said, adding that she is still very involved with the party. “I don’t like to be in a position if I can’t do an expert job for them and I just can’t.”

She added the executive committee’s three other members resigned for similar reasons.

“There was no tiff, no argument, just the time factor,” Byrd said.

Byrd added the party is continuing to explore candidates for the open chair and vice chair positions that county precinct members will eventually hold a vote for. Byrd said Destry Richey is essentially in charge of the party until that time.

Destry Richey said her hope for 2014 is for the Republican Party to “continue to be a strong influence in the area,” adding, “We have some very good candidates and we’re happy to push them into office as best we can.”

Attendance was less than last year’s dinner despite the fact that many Republicans have filed for office in this May’s primary election. State Sen. Randy Head said this was likely due to the transition the executive committee is going through and the fact that there aren’t many competitions on the primary ballot.

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