A top Delaware Republican official just quit over nomination of Trump fan for Senate

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Republicans in the era of Trump have two options: maintain their loyalty to the GOP and be forever stained by association with its cruel, conman president or renounce the party and leave its ranks altogether.

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So far, most prominent Republicans have taken the spineless, former option with some of them like Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska publicly flirting with the idea of leaving the party but failing to actually take any action.

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Now, Delaware News Journal reports that one of Delaware’s top Republican Party officials has resigned with an incendiary letter in which he slams the nomination of party member Rob Arlett for the U.S. Senate race. Arlett is a former Trump state campaign chair, with all the vile baggage that such a distinction entails.

Peter Kopf, the chairman of the New Castle County Republican Committee and a member of the party’s state executive committee penned his letter in response to Arlett’s primary victory.

It’s worth mentioning that New Castle County is the most Republican dense district in Delaware so Kopf is an influential official.

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“Mr. Arlett lacks the character and integrity needed to lead our Ticket and receive my support,” Kopf wrote. The letter also made some cryptic references to “critical information” about Arlett that Kopf believes “will eventually derail his candidacy.” 

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“After 46 years of living and breathing Republican Party politics and many times at the expense of my family, it is time for me to move on. I pray the name at the top of the Ticket doesn’t mean disaster for some excellent down ballot Candidates,” Kopf wrote.

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The letter, which was included in an email and which Kopf claims he didn’t want to leak, also included the stunning revelation that two convicted felons are currently serving positions in the Delaware Republican Party.

“This all should be very disturbing and an embarrassment to any individual serving on the State Executive Committee today. You all have a responsibility to Republicans throughout Delaware to keep our Party ethical,” Kopf wrote.

Delaware News Journal‘s sources indicate that one of the felons is Mike Harkins, a political strategist who was previously convicted of mail fraud and the filing of false tax returns. The other, Robert Harra, works for the Delaware GOP’s finance committee and has been convicted of numerous charges, including “conspiracy to defraud the United States” and making false entries in banking disclosure documents.

Kopf’s letter offers a brief glimpse into the war raging for the soul of the modern Republican Party, a war which the moderate elements have been losing so far. Until Republicans in Congress start standing up to Trump, the party is utterly beyond saving. There is a profound lack of courage in the GOP on display right now and its collective moral failure will haunt the party for years to come.

Original reporting by Scott Goss at Delaware Online.

Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.

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