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Lamar County Republican Party Chairman puts on the Red Hat

red hat headlessWith the upcoming November elections, the Hat sits down for a question and answer session with John Kruntorad, the Chairman of the Lamar County Republican Party. Unfortunately the Chairman did not want his picture taken in that bright red cowboy hat, so I am headless on this article!

Question 1: Tell us about yourself?

John: I am originally from Nebraska. I served in the Air Force from 1969 until 1973, I had volunteered to go to Vietnam but the closest I made it was to Taiwan and I spent some time in Germany. While I was stationed at Goodfellow Air Force in San Angelo, I met my wife while she was going to college there. She is originally from Paris. After the Air Force we returned to Nebraska and I completed my Master’s Degree in Botany at the University of Nebraska. I ended up going to work at Campbell Soup here in Paris as a Chemist and Micro-Biologist. After 3 years in Paris I was hired by Anheuser Busch in Houston managing their lab which I did for 12 years. I was transferred to St Louis to manage the labs at that brewery location for 9 years. I finished up my last three years working in the International Quality Section for overseas breweries out of St Louis. I retired with 25 years at Anheuser Busch and it was a wonderful company to work for and I really enjoyed my time there. We moved back to Paris in 2004. I have been married for 43 years, we have one daughter and one granddaughter.

Question 2: How long have you been involved with local politics?

John: I got involved a little in the early 1980’s while in Houston with a state candidate’s race. During his time in St Louis he did some door-to-door campaigning during the Presidential Election cycle, nothing big as he said, but rewarding. As soon as they moved back to Paris he got involved and started attending Republican Party meetings right away. John said it wasn’t unusual back them to have 8 to 10 people at a regular meeting as the Lamar County Republican Party had a smaller group of members with the area being heavily Democratic. Now days he said if they have a good speaker at the meeting, it is easily 60-70 people attending.

Question 3: How did you become the chair and how long have you held the position?

John: I was the Vice-Chairman for 2 years before being selected as the Chairman. I am currently in my 2nd term of a two year term so I have been the Chairman of the Party for 3 years now.

Question 4: Who will be appointed for the ballot for Constable Precinct 1 by Aug 25th?

John: Tim Rhodes! He is currently filling the previously vacated seat and has been nominated by the party. It was officially filed with the County Elections Administrator on August 12th.

Question 5: There was a huge party change a few years ago, why do you think that is?

John: The credit has to go to Erwin Cain who was our local State Representative a few years ago. Erwin had asked to meet with all of the elected officials in Lamar County, from both parties, at Cox Field one evening in 2010 for a cup of coffee and a discussion. Erwin stated what he stood for and what the planks of the Republican Party’s foundation were. He challenged them to look at what their Party stood for and if the foundations had changed from where they originally started as individuals. The next year at one of the Republican Party meetings, 9 Democrats showed up, took the pledge and switched parties to Republican. A few months later, 2 more switched from Democrat to Republican. That was in 2011 prior to the 2012 General Election cycle.

Question 6: How do you feel about straight party ticket and why?

John: I’m in favor of it for several reasons. One, an uninformed or low information voter may not know everyone on the ticket. Two, by voting for one party they are aligning themselves with the party that they are more in tune with in their core beliefs.

Question 7: What direction do you see your party going – obstacles, issues?

John: I don’t see any obstacles or issues. Lamar Republicans will grow stronger because people read and learn the differences between the Republicans & Democrats, and the hyper-partisanship. Lamar County, North East Texas, and the State are conservative. On a national level, most residents of Lamar County despise what is happening in Washington DC and that leadership is Democratic.

Question 8: Why vote your party?

John: People should vote Republican because it supports self-reliance, self-determination, to let you own your own presence in time and the future. You should not be dependent of another entity (government) for your wellbeing. Now there needs to be a safety net when people need it, however individuals need accountability and responsibility for actions, we determine our situations in life. Back in the day a family, a church or an organization would help if someone needed it. Big government has taken that role today and the Republican Party wants that control back at the local level. If it was your money, you would watch how it was spent.

Written by “Under the Red Hat.” The Red Hat is un-biased, un-affiliated and represents all of us here in our community. If you have an idea, a comment, or want to more about people in our area that are making an impact on our lives through their profession, life, or cause, then just let us know who you would like to see “Under the Red Hat!”

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