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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 09, 2017 1:00 am

Radio host seeks state Senate seat

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Huntington political blogger and radio talk show host Gary Snyder has filed to run for the Democratic nomination in Senate District 17.

Snyder wants to unseat Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington, who won the seat in a December caucus after his predecessor moved to Congress.

But Snyder hasn't always been a Democrat. The managing editor of the internet radio station IndianaTalks.com ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election.

That came just months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican.

He also lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.

Snyder told the Herald-Press in 2008 that “I've always considered myself a Reagan Democrat – socially conservative but a pro-middle-class person.”

Libertarian confab

The Libertarian Party of Allen County will have its organizational convention April 21 at the Liberty Diner, 2929 Goshen Road.

The party will elect officers, choose delegates for the state Libertarian convention, consider amending bylaws and discuss projects.

The convention will be 6 to 9 p.m. Before official business is conducted starting at 7 p.m., the party will hear from Tim Maguire, a candidate for chairman of the state Libertarian Party, and Greg Lenz of the “We Are Libertarians” podcast.

The event is free; those attending must pay for their meals. People seeking infor­mation on the convention or the party should call 260-750-9013 or go to www.allencountyLP.org.

Messer's cash

Rep. Luke Messer, R-6th, has sent another signal that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Joe Donnelly, who is up for re-election in 2018.

Messer's campaign announced Wednesday that it raised more than $700,000 during the first quarter of this year and has more than $1.6 million in cash on hand.

“The support Congressman Messer has received across the state so early in the cycle is remarkable,” campaign finance director Emily Daniels said in a statement.

Messer announced in March the formation of a statewide campaign finance committee. He would have no need for the group – or for touting his first-quarter fundraising total – if he planned to run for re-election in his safe congressional district in east-central and southeastern Indiana.

Democrats are gearing up for possible Senate campaigns by Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th. The Indiana Democratic Party issued a news release Tuesday challenging Messer and Rokita to say where they stand on a GOP health care proposal that would let insurers deny coverage to people based on pre-existing medical conditions.

“Congressman Messer's position is unchanged. He supports pre-existing condition protections and opposes efforts to allow insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions,”  Molly Gillaspie, communications director of Messer, said in an email.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at ­bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.