The Herald Bulletin

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April 26, 2014

Ken de la Bastide: Arnold stuck in political no man's land

A famous novel was entitled “A Man Without a Country."

Ron Arnold may be on the verge of becoming a man without a party.

Arnold, the Republican mayor of Elwood, has caused quite a stir by requesting a Democrat Party ballot in the May primary.

Arnold has put himself in a difficult position if he decides to seek a second term as Elwood mayor in 2015.

Since candidacy in the 2015 primary will be determined by the last vote cast in a primary, Arnold is now in a political no-man’s land.

In December 2012 Arnold hinted that he was considering switching parties because of political in-fighting and gave thoughts to becoming an independent. That move never materialized.

There have been rumors floating around Elwood and Madison County circles that Arnold planned to run for the Democrat Party nomination for mayor in 2015. Elwood residents maintain Arnold was elected mayor over Fred Mort because of support from prominent Pipe Creek Democrats.

By voting Democrat this May, Arnold has put in place the possibility of running for the party’s nomination in 2015.

Ludy Watkins, chairman of the Madison County Democratic Party, said she would not have signed the necessary waiver for him to run in the party’s primary.

“Just because he pulled a Democrat ballot, doesn’t make him a Democrat,” she said. “I can stand in a garage, but it doesn’t make me a car.”

Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, said he has had no conversations with Arnold.

“People make decisions to do that all the time,” Willis said of a Republican requesting a Democrat Party primary ballot. “It’s a choice they make.”

When asked if he would sign a waiver for Arnold to appear on the GOP primary ballot in 2015, Willis said it’s a decision he will have to make at the time.

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