Seven of the approximately 67 Huntington County Republican Party precinct committeemen and precinct vice committeemen who may have cast ballots in the recent election for a new GOP Party chairperson were ineligible to vote.
Whitney Stoffel, Jon Stoffel, Tim Guy, Kendall Mickley, Shelby Riedhart, Cyndy Pressler and DeWayne Hines – listed as either precinct committeemen or vice precinct committeemen by the Huntington County GOP – are not registered with the Indiana GOP and do not appear on the most recent state party roster. According to the Indiana Republican Party Rule 3-4, only the names of precinct committeemen and precinct vice committeemen that appear on list maintained by the Indiana GOP are eligible to participate in a caucus.
Eyewitnesses, including former candidate for GOP chairman Andy Zay, say they saw Whitney Stoffel, Jon Stoffel, Guy, Mickley and Hines vote in the June 17 GOP caucus, which elected Angie Garner as Huntington County GOP chairwoman. Garner replaced Chairman Kris Underwood who resigned June 4 after he moved to the Warsaw area.
HuntingtonDaily.com currently does not know if Riedhart or Pressler participated in the election and is working to obtain the GOP sign-in log to determine which precinct committeemen and precinct vice committeemen cast their ballot in the caucus.
Whitney Stoffel, Jon Stoffel, Mickley, Riedhart, Pressler and Hines were all unavailable for comment and did not return calls to HuntingtonDaily.com. But Guy, who explained he wasn’t aware his name wasn’t on the Indiana GOP roster, said he was also not aware of his appointment to precinct vice committeeman until he received a letter a few days before the election from the GOP requesting his presence at the caucus.
“I did talk to Kris (Underwood) a couple days ago. I brought up that caucus. I told him, ‘I didn’t realize you had appointed me,’” Guy said, explaining he had expressed the desire to be a precinct committeeman to Underwood in the past. “He (Underwood) said, ‘Oh, I did that a year ago.’ He must have dropped the ball.”
Underwood said he faxed the paperwork for Jon and Whitney Stoffel, Guy and Mickley to the Indiana Republican Party and wasn’t aware the state GOP did not receive it.
“Whitney (Stoffel), Tim (Guy) and Kendall (Mickley) – I (faxed) those at the same time … last summer. It was easily over a year ago,” Underwood said. “I had Jon (Stoffel) faxed in December. He replaced his mom (Vicki Stoffel). When she resigned she said he was interested.”
Underwood said he did not know or appoint Riedhart, Pressler or Hines as precinct committeemen or vice committeemen.
Huntington County Vice Chairwoman Genevieve Guhl said she wasn’t aware of any ineligible voters in the June 17 caucus, but said she believed Underwood didn’t manage the party appropriately during his time as chairman.
“We’re trying to unwind that and (follow) bylaws and the whole thing. We’re holding regularly scheduled meetings whereas before it was sporadic,” Guhl said. “We’re trying to change everything so everything is done by the book now.”
Zay, who ran for GOP chairperson against Garner and Mike Crago, said he doesn’t know if the ineligible voters made a difference in the election, but he believes the Huntington County GOP should have followed Indiana Republican Party guidelines.
“(In the first round) we were all within six votes and we’re talking about six to seven votes. Maybe it would have changed the outcome, maybe it wouldn’t,” Zay said. “The bigger testament on this is that the administration of the party has not most recently – and farther back – been handled adequately. There is little to no communication with the state.”