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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, February 04, 2017 10:01 pm

Stutzman gets top jobs at 2 Indiana companies

Niki Kelly and Brian Francisco | The Journal Gazette

Former Congressman Marlin Stutzman has become an executive at two northeast Indiana companies.

Stutzman has been named president of Wishbone Medical Inc. in Warsaw and chief executive officer of Crystal Valley Power Equipment in Middlebury.

Crystal Valley Power Equipment, a retailer of lawn mowers, trimmers, chain saws and other power equipment, has been in business since 1988.

WishBone Medical is a privately held pediatric orthopedic company formed recently by Nick Deeter, who is chief executive officer. In addition to being president, Stutzman is treasurer of the company’s board of directors.

Stutzman said in a statement that he looks forward to "helping children and families recover from traumatic events or correct congenital disorders."

Allison McSherry, who had been a member of Stutzman’s congressional staff, has been named general manager of Wishbone Medical.

Stutzman, a farmer in LaGrange County, left the U.S. House in January after serving three two-year terms as the representative from northeast Indiana’s 3rd District. He did not seek re-election last year but instead made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat.

Stutzman still has a home in suburban Washington. He and his wife, Christy, have been part-owners of a bridal store in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Shine seeks to remain in post

Steve Shine will run for another term as chairman of the Allen County Republican Party.

Shine is sending a letter this week to GOP precinct officials informing them he will seek re-election to a four-year term when the party reorganizes March 4. Shine has been chairman for 24 consecutive years.

His letter makes references to the many elections Republicans have won at local, state and federal levels in recent years, and he calls 2016 "one of the most remarkable political outcomes I have ever witnessed. But for one exception, if you were a Republican on the ballot in Allen County, you won your race."

In fact, no Republican candidate lost in last year’s general election. Democratic Rep. Phil GiaQuinta of Fort Wayne ran unopposed in Indiana House District 80. Otherwise, Republicans led the voting for 21 offices that were on Allen County ballots.

County GOP precinct officials will meet for party reorganization at 9 a.m. March 4 at party headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. Shine told Political Notebook on Friday that Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will give the nominating speech for his re-election bid at the caucus. There were no other announced candidates as of Friday.

Hupfer rounds out state GOP staff

Newly elected Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Kyle Hupfer announced three Hoosiers to constitute the party’s senior staff team for the 2018 election cycle.

Matt Huckleby, Pete Seat and Mindy Colbert most recently worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Gov. Eric Holcomb and each bring unique talents to their new roles, a news release said.

"Matt, Pete and Mindy are a political trifecta," Hupfer said. "Between them, they have unparalleled experience in every facet of a campaign and together they will be a true asset to candidates, elected officials and Republicans statewide as we prepare to both maintain our hold of statewide offices, and most importantly, defeat Joe Donnelly in 2018."

Huckleby, a Harrison County native, will be the party’s executive director of political strategy and operations. In this role, he will manage the party’s field operations, data analytics and internal operations. Huckleby most recently was political director for Eric Holcomb for Indiana. He previously was political director for Mike Pence for Indiana and district director and campaign manager for Congressman Larry Bucshon.

Seat, a Lake County native, will be the party’s executive director of strategic communications and talent development. In this role, he will oversee messaging and media relations for the party, including serving as chief spokesman, and take the lead in identifying and training future campaign staff and candidates. Seat most recently was communications director for Eric Holcomb for Indiana. He previously was senior project manager at Hathaway Strategies and also served in the George W. Bush White House.

Colbert, a Tipton County native, will be the party’s director of fundraising operations in addition to assuming the role of finance director for Eric Holcomb for Indiana. For both entities she will coordinate fundraising operations and manage donor relations. Most recently, she was deputy finance director for the governor’s campaign while running her own political finance consulting firm, Colbert Consulting LLC.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at