As the November election approaches, Republicans and Democrats in Cass County are planning and hosting events to raise money for their respective candidates and prepare residents to vote.
Cass County Democrats were excited when the Hoosier Promise tour stopped at Amelio’s on the River on Wednesday.
The event featured Democratic candidates Tom McDermott, Paul Steury, Jessica McClellan and ZeNai Brooks. McDermott is running against incumbent Todd Young for U.S. 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 vacated after former congresswoman Jackie Walorski was killed in a car crash in early August.
Candidates discussed topics including women’s reproductive rights, health care, US bailout money, education, the environment, 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 changed since Roe v. Wade was overruled by the Supreme Court and said if elected he would work to codify abortion rights at the federal level.
“There is no doubt in my mind what November 8, 2022 is,” he said. “This is about restoring women’s rights in Indiana and restoring women’s rights nationwide. I wasn’t an A student in high school, but I took health (education) and learned that it takes two people to make a baby when I was in that class. I see that only half of our population is affected by the legislative changes made by our state and by the decisions of the Supreme Court. That’s not true.”
McDermott also discussed the importance of Indiana union members and accepting U.S. federal bailout money, protecting veterans, making insulin affordable for people with diabetes and the legalization of cannabis.
McClellan spoke of her experience as Monroe County Treasurer, who frequently worked with the state treasurer’s office. She said she wants to expand the use of CollegeChoice 529 plans to help Hoosiers save for college and reduce predatory loans like payday loans by implementing a program for vulnerable and elderly citizens. She also said she wanted to bring a level of accessibility to the state treasurer’s office.
“I really like this job,” she said. “It’s a personalized 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 how to serve citizens.
Brooks spoke about his experience as a Chartered Accountant over the past 15 years. She said there was no one more qualified than her to work as a state auditor and noted that she had worked with budgets worth millions of dollars. She also talked about her involvement in the community as a pastor’s wife. One of its main goals, however, is to be the voice of the people on public finance. 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 that Indiana ranks nearly last in access to food, mental health care, infant mortality, K-12 (education), all these things. It’s not for lack of investment opportunities. It’s not like we’re ranked number one and we can just lay all our money down. I think it’s irresponsible to sit on so much money and not put it back into the community.
Steury, whose slogan is “Paul for all”, spoke of his humble upbringing on a pig farm. He said that as an educator and former worker, he is a “teacher for teachers” and a “worker for workers”. He also spoke about the importance of health care for all, especially when it comes to children’s mental health, and environmental protection.
“Why do children act? asked Steury. “It’s because they don’t have anyone to talk to. If I can help increase the number of therapists and social workers in schools, I know our country will grow stronger and better. »
Steury also noted that he would be more than happy to get involved in efforts like the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which was drafted in part by Mike Braun.
Additionally, all of the candidates described the importance of voting in the upcoming elections and encouraged everyone to take this election seriously.
“When people tell you these races are not important in this off-year election season, you can tell them it’s extremely important, because we’re talking about business of the state,” Brooks said.
She went on to describe how voting for her, McClellan and Secretary of State candidate Destiny Wells could make a big difference at the state level.
“In the State Finance Council, there is an auditor, a treasurer and the director of the state budget, who is appointed by the governor,” she said. “Right now, everyone is in the same party. This council is essentially an extension of the state legislature. It meets monthly, money is moved between agencies and between funds, and you have three people of the same party, same intentions and same background moving the money. There’s not a lot of transparency about what’s going on. If you vote for me and Jessica, we have two-thirds of that board. There is an immediate power shift if you come 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 her post due to family commitments.
The caucus unanimously elected Daphne Slusher to fill Howard’s spot. Slusher took office on September 1.
“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 with me a wealth of knowledge and desire for the position.”
Cass County Republicans are also planning their fall party fundraiser, which will be held at the Rogers Event Center at the Royal Center on Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m.
David Richey, chairman of the Cass County Republican Party, said he invited all candidates from the running states to attend. He especially hopes that Rudy Yakym, who is running to fill the spot of former congressman Jacki Walorski in Indiana’s second congressional district, will attend the event so people can learn more about him and her goals.
The event costs $30 to attend, and anyone wishing to RSVP should send payment to the Cass County Republican Party at PO Box 791, Logansport, IN 46947.