Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Souder Replacements Target Small Party Audience

Other Republicans who plan to run include Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Liz Brown, state Rep. Wes Culver and local television anchor Ryan Elijah.

Also in the race are the three Republicans who held Souder to less than a majority of the primary vote: Thomas (34 percent), attorney Phil Troyer (17 percent) and property manager Greg Dickman (2 percent). Thomas is seen as the most viable of the three.

Thomas’ pitch to the precinct committeemen is that he has business experience and isn’t a “career politician,” that he acquired valuable name recognition during the primary and that he took on Souder when almost no one else would.

“I stepped up when it was tough,” Thomas said. “I went ahead and put all the blood, sweat and tears behind challenging an incumbent back three months ago and almost none of these other guys who are in it now, they didn’t have the guts or the tenacity to even try that. So I have the legitimacy of being in this from the beginning.”

Terry Hively, Troyer’s campaign manager, acknowledged the smaller universe of Republican voters in a caucus but noted the very short time frame — less than three weeks — in which to reach them.

“Our target area is smaller,” he said. “It may seem like it would be easier to reach, but when you only have 16 days, you don’t have a lot of time to waste here.”

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