Conservative Terre Haute lawyer Jim Bopp says he believes his defeat last week in a run to keep his seat as one of Indiana’s Republican National Committeeman is payback for his support of a single candidate. But other party leaders dispute both that claim and what the switch means for the Republican Party.
Jim Bopp has been a staunch supporter of the conservative cause and is well-known for his involvement in the Citizens United Case that was decided by the Supreme Court in 2010. But Indianapolis-based lawyer John Hammond beat out Bopp during Friday’s election at the state Republican convention. The 22 state central committee members made the decision, and Bopp says their reasoning is obvious.
“Everybody knows that the critical element was that I supported Richard Mourdock, and that unfortunately the Lugar supporters rather than focusing on the good of the state and the country and uniting the party decided to get revenge,” Bopp says.
But former state GOP Chairman Mike McDaniel says he does not think that was the reason at all. He says Hammond was a strong candidate, serving as GOP chairman of the 7th Congressional District since 2005 and representing Republican issues as co-chair of Ice Miller’s Public Affairs Group.
“Clearly this was just about rewarding somebody who has been a good person for the Republican Party, a good leader for the party for a lot of years more than anything else,” he says. “I don’t even thing the philosophical leaning of either man was very important in this thing.”
McDaniel says the move strengthens the party because Hammond will represent Indiana at the national convention and Bopp will still represent Republican ideals in the legal sector.
Bopp did not specify how he would be involved in the Party moving forward, but he says he plans to take advantage of many of the opportunities that will be presented to him.