Elkhart City Councilman calls for County GOP Chair's resignation
ELKHART, Ind. - Elkhart County's Republican Party Chairman Dan Holtz was in Washington, D.C. when the protesting turned into rioting on Capitol Hill. Since returning, he has said the perpetrators of the violence were not Republicans, but Democrats and Antifa left-wing activists in disguise. It all led Elkhart First District City Councilman Aaron Mishler to call for Holtz's resignation.
He has stated that this is something that Democrats normally do," Mishler said. "Trying to compare what happened with Black Lives Matter marches and things like that and hinting that it could have been Antifa in disguise. I don't support that kind of rhetoric I think it's divisive."
Holtz said he condemned all of the violence that happened both in Washington, D.C. and at Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
"I condemned the hooligans that were at the Capitol, I guess, Wednesday night," Holtz said. "I've already said that the violence should be condemned and has been condemned on all sides. It was already condemned, by, I'm sure, every Republican. I hate to draw distinctions, but the BLM and Antifa violence all throughout the country over the summer was not condemned. They made excuses for it."
Holtz said most of the protestors in Washington, D.C. were peaceful and had "every right to protest the overwhelming fraud in this election," but St. Joseph County Democratic Chairman Stan Wruble said calling the election fraudulent is simply a lie.
"59 lawsuits have been brought by Trump or Republicans challenging the election results," Wruble said. "All 59 of those lawsuits have been dismissed because of zero evidence."
Wruble said Holtz must either retract his false statements or resign.
"I personally think that any official, elected, appointed or otherwise, who keeps peddling these lies should resign," Wruble said.
In a previous interview this week, Holtz said someone "suggested" to him that Antifa was at the Capitol Building.
Here is the full quote.
"As we left the Trump Rally and got to the hill by the Washington Monument, you could see in the distance that there were already some people at the US Capitol, again quite a ways away," Holtz said. "As it turns out, I don't know who they were if they were with the Trump campaign or some have suggested that there were some, as there were all summer long, some Antifa provocateurs. Who knows?"
Mishler said Holtz saying these things is dangerous to the governing bodies in Elkhart County because it could lead to damaging the working relationships municipal Democrats and Republicans have with each other. He said as a leader, his words have consequences.
"It's important," Mishler said. "As party leadership, you set the tone for your party. You're the leader. Everyone looks to you for a message, and if you say 'these could have been Antifa in disguise,' then folks who believe you as a leader could believe that. I think it's really important to throw all of that conspiracy stuff away after the insurrection in the capitol."
Mishler said he has reached out to Holtz to discuss his concerns, but has not gotten a response. Holtz said he has no plans to resign as County Republican Chairman.