Local political parties prepare for November elections | news

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As the November election approaches, Cass County Republicans and Democrats plan and host events to raise money for their respective candidates and prepare residents for the election.

Cass County Democrats were ecstatic when the Hoosier Promise Tour stopped at Amelio’s on the River on Wednesday.

The event was attended by Democratic candidates Tom McDermott, Paul Steury, Jessica McClellan and ZeNai Brooks. McDermott is running against incumbent Todd Young for the US Senate, McClellan is running against Daniel Elliott for state treasurer, and Brooks is running against incumbent Tera Klutz for state auditor.

Steury is running against Rudy Yakym in a special election to represent Indiana’s second congressional district, which was left vacant after former Congressman Jackie Walorski was killed in a car accident in early August.

The candidates discussed issues such as women’s reproductive rights, health care, American Rescue Plan funds, education, the environment, labor unions, student loans and predatory lending.

McDermott said there was a reason he was elected Mayor of Hammond, Indiana five times. He noted that his priorities have shifted since Roe v. Wade was struck down by the Supreme Court and said if elected he would work to codify abortion rights at the federal level.

“I have no doubt what November 8, 2022 is about,” he said. “It’s about restoring rights to women in Indiana and restoring rights to women across our country. I wasn’t an A grader in high school, but I took Health (Education) and learned in that class that it takes two people to have a baby. I see only half of our population affected by the changes in our state house legislation and the decisions of the Supreme Court. That is not right.”

McDermott also spoke about the importance of Indiana union members in accepting US federal bailout funds, protecting veterans, making insulin affordable for diabetics, and legalizing cannabis.

McClellan spoke about her experience as a District Treasurer in Monroe County, who has frequently worked with the State Treasurer’s Office. She said she wants to expand use of CollegeChoice 529 plans to help Hoosiers save for college and reduce predatory lending like payday loans by introducing a program for vulnerable and elderly citizens. She also said she wants to bring a degree of accessibility to the State Treasurer’s office.

“I really love this job,” she said. “It’s a personal service that the county government brings to the table. I want to take this to the State House. … In county government, we lead with integrity and show respect. We work together because it’s about serving the citizens.”

Brooks spoke about her experience as a Chartered Accountant over the past 15 years. She said there was no one better qualified than her to work as a state auditor, noting that she had worked with multimillion-dollar budgets. She also spoke about her involvement in the church as a pastor’s wife. However, one of their main goals is to be a voice for the people when it comes to public finances. This includes using Indiana’s surplus to improve the state.

“I love Indiana,” she said. “I was born and raised in Indiana, but we know Indiana is almost last in terms of access to food, mental health care, infant mortality, K-12 (education) and all of those things. It’s not because of a lack of investment opportunities. It’s not like we’re rated number one and we can just shore up all our money. I think it’s irresponsible to sit on that kind of money and not reinvest it back into the community.”

Steury, whose slogan is “Paul for everyone,” spoke about his humble upbringing on a pig farm. He said that as an educator and a former worker, he was a “teacher for teachers” and a “worker for workers.” He also spoke about the importance of health care for all, especially with regard to children’s mental health, and about taking good care of the environment.

“Why do children act?” Steury asked. “That’s because they don’t have anyone to talk to. If I can help increase the number of therapists and social workers in the schools, I know our country is only going to get better and better.”

Steury also noted that he would be more than happy to get involved in efforts like the Growing Climate Solutions Act, co-authored in part by Mike Braun.

In addition, all candidates described the importance of voting in the upcoming election and encouraged everyone to take this election seriously.

“If people tell you that these races aren’t important this off-year election season, you can tell them that’s extremely important because we’re talking about the business of the state,” Brooks said.

She went on to describe how voting could make a big difference for her, McClellan and secretary of state candidate Destiny Wells at the state level.

“In the State Treasury, there is an auditor, a treasurer and the governor-appointed state budget director,” she said. “Right now everyone is in the same party. This body is essentially an extension of the state parliament. It meets monthly, money moves between agencies and between funds, and you have three people from the same party, same intentions and background moving the money. There’s not much transparency about what’s happening. If you vote for me and Jessica, we have two-thirds of this board. There is an instant power shift if you step out and vote for us.”

Cass County Republicans also had a busy few weeks after holding a caucus on Aug. 22 to replace former Cass County Treasurer Cindy Howard, who resigned from office due to family commitments.

The caucus unanimously selected Daphne Slusher to fill Howard’s seat. Slusher assumed the position on September 1st.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me and trusted me to get the job done,” Slusher said in a press release. “I previously served in the Treasurer’s Office as Chief Deputy from 2013-2020 and bring a wealth of knowledge and passion to the position.”

Cass County Republicans are also planning their fundraiser for the fall party, which will be held Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rogers Event Center at the Royal Center

Cass County Republican Party leader David Richey said he invited all state candidates running for office to attend. He especially hopes that Rudy Yakym, who is running for the post of former Congressman Jacki Walorski in Indiana’s second congressional district, will attend the event so people can learn more about him and his goals.

The event is $30 to attend and anyone wishing to register should send payment to the Cass County Republican Party, PO Box 791, Logansport, IN 46947.

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