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Montgomery Co. GOP chair steps down to join Libertarians

Montgomery County Republicans will have to look for a new party chairman. John Pickerill stepped down from his position Thursday to join the Libertarian Party.
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Montgomery County Republicans will have to look for a new party chairman.

John Pickerill stepped down from his position Thursday to join the Libertarian Party.

"You have conservatives like myself saying, 'I don't see the Republican Party representing me anymore'," he told a small news conference of some 15 people Thursday.

Mainly, he says he is concerned with local Crawfordsville and statewide politicians accepting donations from contractors who conduct business with each.

"How much influence does it have? I've been told if Governor Pence does not get re-elected, the state party will be broke in three months. That is how much influence it has," Pickerill said in a small meeting room in the basement of the Crawfordsville library.

Pickerill also alluded to the national campaigns for president.

"You have people who feel the Republican Party does not represent them. You are seeing the Democrat Party does not represent them in the Sanders campaign," Pickerill concluded.

The state Libertarian Party chairman, who attended Pickerill's news conference, put that into perspective.

"We believe that the Libertarian Party is actually the adult in the room in this election," Joe Hauptmann said.

Hauptmann was alluding to Donald Trump.

"Are you comfortable with him, meaning Trump?" Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Rader asked Pickerill.

"Not at all. I think Trump is a roll of the dice. As a businessman, he could be the best thing since Reagan. As a demagogue, he could be the worst thing since Adolf Hitler, as far as I am concerned," he replied.

Which is why Pickerill says he is now a Libertarian.

Pickerill says he plans to run as a Libertarian for the District 41 seat in the State House of Representatives currently held by Republican Dr. Tim Brown.