County chairman resigns, criticizes his party (Scott Goss)

Peter Kopf, a former banking executive who has chaired the New Castle County Republican Committee and served on the state party’s executive committee since 2017, resigned due to personal and/or policy differences with various people in the GOP party. In so doing, he authored a supposedly private letter blasting some of said people that – in short order – became public. A copy of said letter was obtained by the News Journal yesterday. Kopf is reportedly “disturbed” that the resignation letter was made public because it was tendered via “a private e-mail.” However, it’s out there, not only in Delaware but also nationally. See parallel report by Aris Folley, thehill.com, 9/19/18.

Kopf’s bill of complaints includes: (1) Senate candidate Rob Arlett “lacks the character and integrity needed to lead our ticket.” Arlett led the 2016 campaign in Delaware for Trump. Note: Delaware Republican Party never formally endorsed either candidate in Arlett’s primary contest with Gene Truono after three ballots at the May convention. DE Republican Chairman Mike Harrington’s decision to let that draw stand supposedly violated party bylaws. (2) Disappointed that former Democrat Scott Walker – characterized in the story as “a businessman with a penchant for outrageous behavior” – defeated “party favorite Lee Murphy” in the primary to be the GOP candidate in the House race. (3) These developments could handicap the chances for Republican candidates in other races, namely the anticipated 2020 challenge by Ken Simpler (currently state treasurer) to Gov. John Carney, not to mention down ballot candidates this year. (4) Charge that two convicted felons are serving in public positions within the Delaware GOP. (5) Criticism of the party’s handling of candidate filing fees, reprising an earlier controversy between Rob Arlett and Gene Truono.

The Republican Party has been struggling as it is, and this kind of publicity won’t further their goal of making a comeback in Delaware. There is a deep divide between the Trump supporters (mostly in Sussex County) and the traditional Republicans in northern Delaware, however, and Mr. Kopf was on the losing side. Such differences are very emotional, and they tend to come out.
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