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Although Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer delivered a message of diversity and inclusion at the state convention this weekend, overshadowing the event was a battle between moderate conservatives and social conservatives over platform language regarding the definition of a “family”.

Hupfer told the crowd that Republicans can take the party to the “Next Level”, but they have to reach out to more minority, young and urban populations.

“When we get to Indianapolis for our 2020 State Convention, I want to see increased diversity among us,” Hupfer said.  “I ask party leaders across the state to look for ways to increase minority participation in your local party activities.  And as you have successes, I want to personally know about them so we can share those successes and learn from each other.”

Against that backdrop, however, was a party debate over how families should be defined in the party platform.   A rally was held Friday night opposed to removing platform language strictly defining marriage as between a man and a woman.   And Republican activist Monica Boyer hinted on Facebook that if the language changed she would seek a candidate to run against incumbent Governor Eric Holcomb.

“I sense a change coming to Indiana. The stunt Kyle Hupfer, (the GOP chairman) and the Governor played on Hoosier families by taking marriage out of the platform is crystal clear that they don’t know the heartbeat here.  They live in the Indy elite bubble and refuse to look around,” she said. “ I will be actively watching for the replacement of this administration. I cannot wait for this battle.”

On a voice vote, delegates overwhelmingly chose to go with platform language regarding families which said… 

“We believe, in strong families. We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We also recognize that some families are much more diverse and we support the blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents* and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.”

“We welcome differing ideas and vigorous debate,” Hupfer said in his remarks to the delegates.  “While the media likes to frame everything as an intra-party conflict, I’ve been encouraged by how this debate has highlighted the diversity of thought and opinion within our Party on not just the topic of strong families, but many others, and it’s that which makes us strong and able to continue our growth.”

Democrats will formally nominate their statewide candidates next week in Indianapolis.

Photo:  Abdul-Hakim Shabazz