The Journal Gazette
Sunday, October 27, 2019 1:00 am

Snider grad, campaign aide gets profiled

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, celebrated a milestone birthday recently and was profiled by Politico. 

In that article, the Snider High School grad talked about his start in politics:

“Stuffing envelopes in 1979 at age 9 for a friend of my father who was running for mayor of my hometown of Fort Wayne (as a Democrat). He won and went on to serve as a state representative. Decades later, while I worked for the Republican governor, he jokingly reminded me that I got my political start working to elect a Democrat.”

That person was Winfield Moses, and the 50-year-old Lotter still remembers Moses' campaign slogan: “When Win wins we all win.”

Candidate support

While Republican Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill was busy defending himself from groping allegations last week, his opponent for the GOP nomination next year took the opportunity to announce a list of supporters. 

John Westercamp announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for attorney general in June and has since visited 77 counties, where he has been meeting people and attending events. Last week, he announced more than 60 public endorsements from Republicans including state legislators, county party officials and local government officials.

They include former congressman David McIntosh, who grew up in Kendallville; Allen County Republican William Billings; Wells County Republican Ted Claghorn; Adams County Councilman Cory Sprunger; and Adams County Republican Allison Sprunger. 

“I am humbled by the gracious support I have received around the state,” Westercamp said. “There is an appetite for new conservative leadership in the Attorney General's office, and I am excited to step up.”

Watch parties set

Allen County Democratic and Republican organizations will have watch parties in downtown Fort Wayne the evening of Nov. 5 to monitor the results of that day's municipal elections.

Democrats will gather from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Grand Wayne Center and Republicans will be at their Main Street headquarters beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Fort Wayne has contested races for mayor, clerk, council at-large and four council district seats. New Haven has contests for mayor and three council district seats. Monroeville has contests for four town council district seats. There are three candidates for two town council seats in Leo-Cedarville.

Republicans will have their traditional post-election coney dog lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at their headquarters.

New spokesman

The Indiana Republican Party has tapped Jake Oakman as its new director of strategic communications.

“Jake has served our state in a number of important capacities, working alongside Governor (Eric) Holcomb for years,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and campaign manager of the governor's reelection campaign. “We're excited he's joined the senior leadership team because there's no one better suited to tell the Holcomb success story and outline the many reasons why the governor and our entire Republican team should continue to serve Hoosiers in the years ahead.”

Oakman is a veteran of two Republican gubernatorial administrations and has assisted on several campaigns. Most recently, he was special assistant to Holcomb, serving as the governor's main speech writer, liaison on international engagement and adviser on all matters of the governor's communications strategy. Oakman has also worked for former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and U.S. Sen. Todd Young's successful 2010 primary campaign for the U.S. House.

Voters heard

When U.S. Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Chris Coons, D-Del., announced the launch of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus on Wednesday, Coons said they were responding to constituents' demands.

“As I have traveled up and down Delaware, and I suspect that Sen. Braun has traveled across Indiana, we have consistently heard from our constituents that climate change is an important issue, too important to be left to partisan politics. They want us to step up and address climate change together, and we agree,” Coons said during a conference call with news media.

Coons seems more likely than Braun to hear about climate change from constituents, according to surveys conducted by Yale University. The Yale Climate Opinion Maps released in September show greater percentages of adults in Delaware than in Indiana believe global warming is happening (68-60), is caused mostly by human activities (53-46) and may harm Americans (57-50).

Greater percentages of adults in Delaware than in Indiana favor regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (73-69), taxing fossil fuel companies (66-58) and requiring that utility companies produce 20% of their electricity from renewable sources (63-57).

In every category, Delaware was at or 1 percentage point higher than the nationwide percentage.

Braun said climate change and health care costs “are the two major issues facing us.”

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

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