Political Notebook

  • Shepard to receive democracy award
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • Stutzman ready for a real recess
    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."
  • Liz Brown gets 4 endorsements
    Liz Brown, the Republican running for the Senate District 15 seat, announced four endorsements Thursday.

Job again stops GiaQuinta

Mark GiaQuinta’s role as president of the Fort Wayne Community Schools board drew more contention last week.

A little more than a week after GiaQuinta was forced to resign from a state charter school board because of his elected post, he was forced to recuse himself from an Allen County Election Board meeting.

GiaQuinta was filling in as a proxy member for the election board, which was discussing George Guido, a co-worker of Democratic board member Andy Boxberger.

Gina Burgess, who was trying to get Guido removed from the ballot, jumped in when GiaQuinta tried to dismiss her effort. She said GiaQuinta was not allowed to serve as a proxy under state law because he was an elected official.

Rather than fight her effort, GiaQuinta abstained from the matter and let the two other members dismiss the case.

“This $2,000 school board office is really causing me a lot of trouble,” he said after the meeting.

Traveling Wallace

GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Wallace could star in a remake of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” based on his recent campaign activity. But his movie would be called “Motorcycles, Humvees and a Helicopter.”

The underdog in the Republican fight – he is running against U.S. Rep. Mike Pence – has used many modes of travel while on the road.

In one campaign video, Wallace pulls up on a motorcycle, a la Gov. Mitch Daniels.

And he has been tooling around the state in a blue and gold customized Humvee, which is somewhat reminiscent of Daniels’ campaign recreational vehicle.

In his latest television ad, running only in central Indiana, Wallace takes to the air flying an old Army helicopter to play up his service as a pilot in the U.S. Army.

Statehouse hopefuls

Two northeast Indiana men announced last week their intentions to seek Statehouse seats.

Rep. David Yarde, R-Garrett, will seek the GOP nomination for the newly drawn District 13 Senate seat in 2012 instead of remaining in the Indiana House.

The longtime educator is serving his second term in House District 52, representing parts of LaGrange, Noble and DeKalb counties.

The redrawn Senate district covers all of Steuben, LaGrange and Noble counties, as well as a portion of DeKalb County.

“This new Senate district includes my old House district,” Yarde said. “I made a promise to those people to be a strong voice for them. I am not ready to abandon and quit on them.”

He will face incumbent Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, in the primary. She has served the district one legislative session after being chosen in a caucus to fill the empty seat.

Angola dentist Dennis Zent will run for state representative in the seat currently held by Rep. Dick Dodge, R-Pleasant Lake.

Dodge recently confirmed he would not seek re-election in the reconfigured House District 51, which includes nearly all of Steuben and LaGrange counties. Dodge has been in the House since 2004.

Zent is chairman of the Steuben County Republican Party.

“As a dentist, I am a small-business owner who struggles with the same challenges and concerns all business owners face: over-regulation, high taxes and constant government intrusion,” he said. “I believe doctors need to step out of their comfort zone and attempt to find a cure for the sick state of affairs we find in all levels of government.”

All names on ballot

The Allen County Election Board will not revisit its decision to place all candidates on the ballot this fall.

Zach Klutz, board president, on Tuesday said the board would not reopen the issue unless mandated by the state.

Previously, Democratic member Andy Boxberger said the issue may be revisited.

The General Assembly this year approved a law requiring county clerks to omit names of unopposed candidates from the ballot. The little-discussed law was intended to save money and make it easier for voters to read ballots.

The county election board last month voted to put unopposed candidates’ names on the ballot to avoid confusion.

Also, because some ballots would feature no contested races if the names were withheld, voters in those districts wouldn’t have an opportunity to vote.

Leaders in the state legislature have said they plan on reversing this law during the next session.

To reach Political Notebook by e-mail, contact Benjamin Lanka at blanka@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.