Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, refused to participate in a radio commercial for Republican mayoral candidate Matt Kelty and now is “extremely upset” that Kelty
recently used Souder’s past endorsement in a mailing to supporters.
“I would have said no” if Kelty had asked permission to include Souder in the mailing, he said Monday.
Souder also said he hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll vote for Kelty next month.
“I want to be for Matt Kelty,” he said. “He’s the Republican nominee, he’s a friend and he’s a conservative. But I’m struggling mightily, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Kelty has been indicted on perjury and campaign finance charges. Souder publicly endorsed Kelty three weeks before the indictment was handed down in August.
After the nine indictments, Kelty asked Souder to cut a radio commercial “about what an ethical guy he was.” Souder refused.
Souder said Monday that Kelty should have seen that refusal as a clue that he shouldn’t include Souder in promotional materials.
Asked whether he is formally withdrawing his endorsement, Souder said:
“I’ll see how it evolves. Basically everybody in Fort Wayne understands the significance of what I already did. … I haven’t technically withdrawn (the endorsement). I haven’t made the decision how to do that, but de facto if I’m not letting him use my endorsement, it’s not of much value. So they went ahead and used it without my permission.”
Meanwhile, Indiana GOP Chairman Murray Clark has some explaining to do to Marion County Republicans. Clark's state party organization won't lift a finger to help GOP mayoral hopeful Greg Ballard, but the party is sending out thousands of mailers on behalf of Kelty's campaign in Fort Wayne. People are asking if Clark's ties to his law firm, Baker & Daniels, are interfering in his role as state chairman. The firm has extensive legal contracts with the City of Indianapolis courtesy of Mayor Bart Peterson (D). Also, Clark is very close to Peterson's Chief Deputy John Dillon.
The state party is also helping out extremist, religious right candidate Juan Manigault in South Bend. I have a suggestion to Marion Co. Republicans. Stop making contributions to the Indiana GOP until Murray Clark resigns. Unless you are interested in maintaining Democratic control of Marion County, there is no reason to contribute a dime to the state party.