The Journal Gazette
Sunday, July 21, 2019 1:00 am

McCarthy in town to help raise funds

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was in Fort Wayne on Thursday night to raise funds for Republican congressional campaigns ahead of the 2020 election.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, said Friday that about two dozen people attended the fundraising dinner at Park Place on Main. He said the event was organized by local party activist and financier Bill Bean, who owns the downtown restaurant.

Banks said the dinner raised $200,000 for a GOP national campaign committee.

“The donor base in northeast Indiana is fired up to win back the House for a Republican majority, and that showed last night in the enormous financial support for those efforts,” Banks said in an interview.

Democrats captured a comfortable majority of House seats in the 2018 election after Republicans had controlled the chamber since 2011.

McCarthy, then the House majority leader, was the keynote speaker at the Allen County Republican Party's yearly Reagan Bean Dinner in 2017.

Democrats launch anti-Holcomb site

The Indiana Democratic Party recently launched, a website it says will hold Gov. Eric Holcomb accountable for allegedly failing to deliver for working families and Hoosier educators.

The website features video of several Hoosier teachers as they explain how low pay forced their families to find other ways to pay the bills and how underfunded classrooms affect learning outcomes. Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said the educators' experiences are in stark contrast to how Holcomb portrays his education record.

“Holcomb's talk of 'historic investment' in our classrooms rings hollow when our educators are working a second and third job to make ends meet and digging into their own pockets to cover basic expenses,” Zody said. “Holcomb's empty promises don't put food on the table or help families get ahead.”

Other examples on the page accuse Holcomb of promising every child a strong start but nine out of 10 low-income 4-year-olds still don't have a seat in preschool. It also says he gives big raises to political appointees and cuts taxes for big corporations while raising gas taxes on working families.

The rollout coincided with Holcomb's re-election announcement.

Holcomb touts fundraising

Gov. Eric Holcomb ended the first fundraising period with more than $6 million in the bank.

A news release said that surpasses any previous Indiana governor's cash on hand at the midpoint of his third year in office.

His campaign account, combined with the accounts of Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Republican Party, ended June with $7.23 million cash on hand.

“I think it's safe to say Hoosiers are seeing a trend from Governor Eric Holcomb,” said Kyle Hupfer, treasurer of the Eric Holcomb for Indiana campaign. “After posting record fundraising numbers and earning a sky-high approval rating at the end of 2018, Governor Holcomb is at it again at the end of another fundraising period. Hoosiers have placed Governor Holcomb in an historic position because of his people-focused approach to leading our state and because of the unprecedented results that approach is delivering across the state.”

Young to aid Smith for mayor

As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Todd Young's job is to help elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. But he'll branch out by lending a hand to the GOP candidate in the Fort Wayne mayor's race.

The campaign for Tim Smith has sent invitations to an Aug. 2 fundraising reception that will feature Greenwood resident Young, the senior senator from Indiana.

The fundraiser will be at the home of local Republican activist and financier Bruce Dye. Smith's mayoral campaign seeks donations starting at $100 for people to join the “host committee,” with a “host” costing $5,000 and a “co-host” going for $2,500.

The invitation notes that Young, who is up for re-election in 2022, will not be seeking campaign contributions at Smith's fundraiser.

Smith is challenging third-term Democratic Mayor Tom Henry in the Nov. 5 municipal election.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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