Ask The Mayor: Crawfordsville's Todd Barton On Solving A Local GOP Rift

May 26, 2016

The mayor says former county GOP chairman John Pickerill saw the writing on the wall when he left to join the county Libertarians.
Credit Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton says a growing rift within county Republicans can begin to mend after Thursday’s announcement that Republican Party Chairman John Pickerill would step down.

“Removing him from the mix certainly helps the healing process,” Barton says.

The mayor had spoken for months about his concerns with an increasing split between more moderate Republicans in the county and Pickerill’s more conservative wing of the party.

Pickerill ran unsuccessfully for county commissioner in 2014.
Credit John Pickerill / Facebook

Pickerill says he doesn’t see himself and Barton as the two wings of the conservative establishment in the county.

“You have to define what ‘healing the party’ means,” Pickerill says. “If it means that, gosh, everyone gets along and we really don’t care what the party accomplishes, well I guess you could say he’s right. But if you are defining it as meaning the party is trying to achieve its goals as outlined in the Republican platform, I’d say it’s an abject failure.”

Pickerill says he’ll move to the Montgomery County Libertarian Party and try to clearly delineate for conservative voters which candidates will uphold what he calls “constitutional conservative” values, such as small government and the private sector being responsible for job creation.