York County Councilman Paul Lindemann still finds himself at odds with Republican Party leaders over his decision to seek re-election in light of a drunken-driving charge last week.
But the two sides were able to state their cases amicably during a party meeting Thursday night.
Their brief remarks stood in contrast to comments made on Wednesday, when Lindemann criticized the GOP leadership for making a rush to judgment by asking him to resign.
"I never think anything negative," Lindemann told about 60 people gathered at Thursday's Too restaurant for the party's regular monthly meeting. "My politics started in this restaurant with Larry Bigham in '91," Lindemann said, referring to Larry Bigham, the co-owner of Thursday's Too restaurant, who ran for Congress twice in the 1990s. "I'm going to continue today in this restaurant, and we're going to be victorious."
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The party did not vote on a resolution to ask Lindemann, 29, to resign. Party Chairman Glenn McCall said it would have carried no more weight than the public statements he already has made.
"But we do stand firm," he said. "I love Paul as a person and will do whatever I can for him. I'm not going to pull punches. I feel elected officials have to be accountable for their actions."
Lindemann was arrested last week in Columbia and charged with driving under the influence after a traffic stop near Palmetto Richland Hospital. Two motorcyclists told police that Lindemann's black 2008 Audi A4 nearly ran into them several times on Harden Street.
An officer smelled alcohol coming from Lindemann, who also had slurred speech, according to police reports.
After McCall finished speaking, County Councilman Curwood Chappell stood to address the audience.
"Are you finished?" he asked the chairman. Chappell then spoke about a decline in morality that he believes is exemplified by Lindemann's case.
"We're going to see some more Pauls," he said. "The only way to teach our kids is to let them see the example of straightness."
Lindemann has acknowledged two previous DUI arrests in 1998 and 2000.
County Republicans cannot remove Lindemann from office or make him withdraw from the Nov. 4 general election. At Thursday's meeting, McCall sought to move both sides past the hard feelings that have emerged since the arrest.
"We support and love all our elected officials," he said. "They're in the spotlight and it's not easy. We want to make sure, as we move forward, he understands where we draw the line."
During his response, Lindemann noted the many phone calls he has received from friends and supporters. He had to turn his cell phone off, he said, because so many people were calling.