State delegates are important
Sunday, January 26, 2014 9:00 PM
The 2014 election season is in full swing, and until Feb. 7 you can file to become a candidate for public office or political party office. Most people are pretty familiar with the public offices up for election (county commissioner, county councilman, sheriff, auditor, assessor, treasurer, superior court judge, prosecuting attorney). But what are the political party offices that are elected?
John Pickerill is the Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman. His column is part of a series of columns that appear in The Paper of Montgomery County on Mondays from public officials.
In 2014 there is only one Republican political party office up for election: State Delegate. Actually, I should say there are 13 since Montgomery County is allocated 13 delegates by the Indiana Republican Party. If you are a Republican living in our county you can be a Republican state delegate. It's very simple to become candidate for state delegate for the primary election on May 6. All you have to do is file a form that only takes one minute to fill out, (called a "CAN-37" form) with Karyn Douglas at the county clerk's office before Feb. 7. Then wait until May 6 to see if you get elected. It's that easy.
So what does a Republican State Delegate do? Just one thing. They are the voting members of the Republican State Convention. And that's important because the Republican candidates for State Treasurer, State Auditor, and Indiana Secretary of State are not voted for directly by the public in the primary election. They are voted for by the state delegates, and it is at the State Convention where this happens. In other words, the public elects the state delegates in May, and then the state delegates elect the Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State in June. Whoever is elected at the State Convention then becomes the Republican nominee for the general election in November. So far there is one candidate for State Auditor (incumbent Suzanne Crouch), one candidate for Secretary of State (incumbent Connie Lawson), and three candidates for State Treasurer (Don Bates, Kelly Mitchell, Wayne Seybold).
The other significant action the delegates take at the State Convention is voting to approve the 2014 revision of the Indiana Republican Platform. The Platform defines what political principles every Republican should be committed to, and it is ultimately the delegates who approve what goes into it.
The 2014 State Convention will be held June 6 and 7 in Fort Wayne. If elected, each delegate is required to pay an $80 convention fee (same price as last time). If you decide to become a state delegate candidate, please be committed to attend. In 2012 there were several people elected as state delegates from Montgomery County who failed to attend one or both days of the Convention. That year 39 people ran for the county's 13 delegate spots, and many of those not elected were rather insulted by the elected delegates who didn't take their duty seriously enough to "show up for work." We want people to run who are excited about the opportunity to participate in the State Convention process, especially those who have never done it before, and especially young people.
If you have any questions about how to become a delegate, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.