Political Notebook

  • Mom's ad surprises candidate
    Congressional candidate Justin Kuhnle said Wednesday afternoon that except for an image texted by a friend, he had little knowledge of a newspaper advertisement supporting his candidacy.
  • Bennett back at the Statehouse
    Gov. Mike Pence had an intriguing visitor to his Statehouse office Tuesday - former Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
  • Right to Life PAC endorses 6 area GOP candidates
    The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee has endorsed six area Republicans seeking Statehouse office.

State GOP convention guests leaked

A couple of cats were let out of the Republican Party bag in Angola.

Those attending the Steuben County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner on Tuesday learned that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and national GOP Chairman Reince Priebus will speak at the state party’s convention in Fort Wayne.

Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine made the announcement, according to IndyPolitics.org.

Shine, who is rarely at a loss for words, declined to comment to Political Notebook. But he did say a news conference is scheduled Monday afternoon in Fort Wayne to announce details of the June 6-7 state convention, which will be at Grand Wayne Center.

Shine had much more to share about the Allen County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 29 at Ceruti’s Summit Park, 6601 Innovation Blvd. Gov. Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets are $60 a person. The cost will run $120 for anyone who also wants to attend the dinner and a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m.

Reservations are due Tuesday. For information, email lincolndinner@allencountygop.org.

Wyss tribute

The Allen County commissioners on Tuesday paid tribute to retiring state Sen. Tom Wyss at its legislative recap breakfast.

Wyss, whose 15th Senate District covers portions of Allen County, received an engraved glass award and a resolution recognizing him for his “extraordinary life as a public servant.”

Wyss began his political career as an Allen County councilman from 1976 to 1985. He served in the Indiana State Senate for nearly 30 years, during which he chaired the Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, and has been a member of the Committees on Appropriations, Local Government, and Rules and Legislative Procedure.

The commissioners’ resolution noted several of Wyss’ legislative accomplishments, including writing bills requiring everyone to wear a seat belt, prohibiting the practice of texting while driving, and lowering the legal limit of the state’s drunken driving law to 0.08.

Wyss was also recognized for his role in creating the Indiana Commission on Military and Veterans Affairs and authoring Indiana’s most comprehensive military veterans’ benefits legislation.

The commissioners congratulated Wyss upon his retirement and encouraged residents “to thank him for his diligent work and years of honorable service and wish him the best of luck as he embarks upon the next chapter of a life already well-lived.”

Sheriff hopefuls

Allen County Republican Women will have a public program Thursday for primary-election voters to meet and hear from the two candidates for the GOP sheriff’s nomination.

David Gladieux and Luke Nathalang will be at the Dupont Branch of the Allen County Public Library at 7 p.m. to answer questions and explain their priorities if elected.

The kicker

Neighbors in Eel River Township have banded together in their opposition to Huntertown’s proposed plan to build a wastewater treatment plant and discharge the treated water into Eel River. They’ve been dubbed the KHA – Kick Huntertown’s ASSociation.

The group will meet Wednesday with Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, who has promised to listen to the groups’ concerns regarding possible flooding and degradation of the Geller Ditch and Eel River if the town’s plan is approved.

Huntertown’s proposal to build the $11.2 million wastewater treatment plant was turned down by IDEM in 2012, and is currently on appeal. In the meantime, the town plans to submit a new permit application in the next few weeks, which includes a new discharge site in Eel River Township about four miles west of the proposed plant site on Hathaway Road.

And the sign says

It’s spring, when the roadways are lined with flowers, wildlife and political signs.

The Indiana Department of Transportation, however, wants to remind you that campaign signs are prohibited from federal and state highway rights-of-way by state law.

INDOT workers are required to remove all unauthorized signs within the state right-of-way.

INDOT crews will remove campaign signs and other illegal signs from rights-of-way as they are encountered in normal highway maintenance activities, but may also remove a sign if it presents a safety risk, such as being too close to the road or blocking sight lines. Campaign signs placed off the rights-of-way will not be removed.

Removed signs will be taken to the nearest INDOT subdistrict office or unit, where they will be kept until after the election. Campaign signs may be claimed by the owner between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, except for holidays.

Vivian Sade and Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.