From blue stronghold South Bend to red Starke County, the GOP is currently licking its wounds from a royal beating. Instead of flipping the Mishawaka Common Council and City Clerk’s office, the GOP lost seats. Instead of flipping a seat or two in South Bend, the GOP lost its only Common Council seat to an unknown teacher who doesn’t even know how to do basic math.
In Knox, the Democrats won the Mayor’s race plus 5 council seats.
In Plymouth, the Democrat Mayoral candidate won for the first time in nearly two decades.
In Elkhart, the Democrats walked away with 8 of the Common Council seats.
The GOP’s losses are nationwide with devastating and surprising losses in Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey and more.
While the St. Joseph County GOP has been on the right track as a whole, a massive “top of the ticket” issue was too much to overcome. Two mayoral candidates, who are not conservative, single-handedly torpedoed an otherwise extremely strong ticket of talented conservatives. Efforts to distance the rest of the candidates and limit the impact of these non-conservative Mayoral candidates was an impossible task. The Democrats then capitalized on the weakness with surgical precision.
South Bend Republican Mayoral Candidate Desmont Upchurch is the sole reason 5th District Republican incumbent Eli Wax lost a narrow race. Upchurch pulled in about 25-percent of the total vote compared to 2019 when Republican Sean Haas won nearly 40-percent. Upchurch was a terrible candidate who has a checkered criminal history, with a Domestic Violence related conviction that he repeatedly lied about. Upchurch is also not conservative. He supports Critical Race Theory, reparations and racial based hiring practices. Because of that, GOP leadership asked him not to run for office, but he did it anyway.
In Mishawaka, Republican Mayor Dave Wood (who ran unopposed) has all but switched parties by supporting Democrat candidates. The St. Joseph County Democrat Party sent out a mailer last week touting Wood’s pseudo endorsement of Democrat City Clerk Debbie Ladyga-Block. Wood is currently floating a local income tax raise which needs Common Council support — it looks like he’ll get it now that the council has a 7-2 Democrat majority. He is the definition of a RINO (Republican in name only).
Needless to say, with these two RINOs leading their respective tickets, Republicans in St. Joseph County just did not come out to vote.
It’s Republicans like Wood and Upchurch who have destroyed the GOP across the country. Conservatives want conservative leadership. However, it is desperately lacking. Conservatives are not going to come out to vote if the option they have is “Democrat Lite.” This is the apathy issue.
The Democrats get it. They have floated the most radical candidates they can think of. Their openly socialist candidates are appealing to their base. They motivate voters and they win.
It’s time Republicans across the country learn from the Democrats: purge the Republican Party of RINOs, recruit radically conservative candidates and motivate the base. Until that is done, the GOP nationally is in for massive losses for years to come.
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