Pope County GOP chair urges united effort on economy, taxes
Pope County Republican Chairman Kelvin Kunath hopes his party will get back to the basics in determining whom to support in 2018.
“I don’t think some of the recent GOP candidates have been quite conservative enough,” Kunath told the SE Illinois News. “Everywhere you look, community interest is growing for traditional ideas and the original founding intentions of this country.”
Kunath, now in his sixth year as chairman, said he has instructed many of his precinct captains and neighborhood leaders to weigh that knowledge when choosing a candidate in the primaries, with the understanding that the entire party will throw its support behind the winners for the general election.
Kunath said several state candidates have captured his attention.
“I like Erika Harold for state’s attorney general,” he said. “She’s not afraid to say what she feels or take a stance on critical issues, while being quite well-spoken.”
Kunath also said he views county commissioner hopeful Lindsey Barker as someone with “plenty of new ideas” and the community’s best interest at heart.
“That’s refreshing,” he said. “Something you don’t always see nowadays.”
Kunath’s opinion of Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), up for re-election, is similar.
“He’s always looking for ideas and things to do to bring business and small industry to area,” he said.
Kunath said jobs and the economy should be the primary focus of all candidates.
“There needs to be a more multifaceted campaign by county officials and organizations, in concert with state officials,” he said. “Everybody needs to be putting their heads together to spur growth.”
Rising property taxes need to be addressed as well, he said.
“They need to come down for individuals and businesses,” Kunath said. "Right now, it’s driving everyone out of the state.”