|Is it time for Dave Heath to retire?|
"It's all starting to make sense now," commented one political insider on the reason for the eleventh hour candidacy and "sham election" of Dave Heath as the Tippecanoe County Republican party chairman.
Last year many precinct committeemen were stunned when former party chairman Bob Hicks stepped down as the top Republican leader the night before elections were to take place. What actually happened at the meeting the next day was even more shocking.
"Dave Heath was coronated the king of the Republican party," commented one party insider. "There was one last minute candidate and no real election, just a call for a voice vote. There were people in the room who weren't eligible to vote raising their hands like they were at some Nazi party rally. At that point no one dared to object. It was a very intimidating process."
Many people have questioned why Dave Heath would force himself into the leadership position at an age when most people are enjoying retirement. It has led to much speculation. Since party chairmen are responsible for appointing precinct committeemen to vacant positions could Heath be setting himself up to choose his own replacement should he win the sheriff's election and at some point step down from the job?
It's also been suggested that he wants power to set a new generation of Heath children up in the sheriff's department.
"I know for a fact that he's trying to get his daughter on at the sheriff's department," commented one political insider. "He has other children in law enforcement as well."
Political shenanigans within the local Republican Party are nothing new. In the past county chairmen have stacked the deck by appointing friends and relatives to vacated and empty precinct seats.
Those stacked deck players are responsible for finding replacements for vacant political offices, which has happened in the past. And that is precisely what has some people nervous.
"Who is he going to appoint to run the jail, Vickie Mays?" asked one critic. Mays was the controversial parks department director who many say helped destroy the iconic Columbian Park that generations of Tippecanoe County natives enjoyed prior to its radical change under Heath's mayoral leadership (or lack of).
Critics also pointed out that Heath only lasted a short time as Chairman of the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission before he was fired by former Governor Mitch Daniels.
"Heath might say he resigned from the position, but he was forced out and allowed to have a face-saving measure in the form of a resignation," commented one critic. "Has anyone asked his bosses why he was asked to leave?"
"Some people just don't know when their time is up. It's time for Dave Heath to retire. He keeps grabbing for power and he wants his old job back, because he really hasn't done well on a job that he didn't have a gun and a badge to bully with."