The Journal Gazette
Sunday, November 29, 2020 1:00 am

'Nasty Women' getting out vote

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

The Facebook post had the tone of someone star-struck.

“I was in a Zoom call with Stacey Abrams tonight! Who else was there?”

The poster was Kimberly Michaelsen, one of the founders of Nasty Women of Allen County, part of the national movement that was formed after President Donald Trump referred to Hillary Clinton as “that nasty woman.”

“She was in my phone,” Michaelsen said, and the call had 2,500 people on it. Two years ago, Abrams founded Fair Fight, a voter registration organization.

Now Nasty Women of Allen County has gotten back in the political trenches to help get out the vote in Georgia for the U.S. Senate race Jan. 5 runoff.

A postcard and letter writing campaign organized by member Kristy Richardson is a continuation of when Richardson and others wrote to voters in swing states during the general election.

“I did this for Texas. I'm ready to go again!” one Nasty Woman told Michaelsen.

The Nasty Women, whose ranks number 4,200 countywide, also get together for Trunk Talks, meeting over coffee and snacks, sitting in parking lots, just to talk and be with like-minded friends.

In December, Nasty Women will read both books written by Abrams, as part of its newly formed book club.

“We want that to launch and motivate our core group into action and making change,” Michaelsen says.

Caucus set

The Adams County Republican Party held a Nov. 19 caucus for two vacant elected offices, selecting the outgoing county auditor and the owner of World Cup Realty to fill positions.

The vacancies were created by the retirement of County Assessor Don Kuhn and the departure of District 1 County Councilman Stan Stoppenhagen, who was recently elected to the Adams County Board of Commissioners.

Mary Beery, who served two terms as Adams County auditor, was unopposed for the assessor position. Beery, who has been employed in the auditor's office since 1992, lives in Pleasant Mills.

Fred Velez ran against former Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg. Velez was appointed county councilman in a name drawing after tying with Rekeweg in a vote among the eight District 1 precinct committeemen.

In addition to owning World Cup Realty, Velez is employed with American Electric Power and volunteers with the St. Mary Parish.

Both Beery and Velez would have to seek election to a full term in 2022 to continue in these roles.

Banks chosen

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks of Columbia City recently was elected as a regional representative to the House Republican Steering Committee for the 117th Congress.

The 35-member panel makes House committee assignments for Republican lawmakers and selects Republicans for committee leadership positions.

Republican House members for Region VI, which consists of Indiana and Illinois, chose Banks, R-3rd, for the steering committee. He will replace Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, who did not seek re-election this year.

Democrats party

The Allen County Democratic Party will host its 2020 Holiday Party via Zoom this year, the political organization announced Monday.

The party will start at 6 p.m. Dec. 16, costs $20 per person, $30 if a guest plans to bring a friend. The party will include a holiday pajama contest, political trivia questions from special guests, gift bag delivery, and a year-in-review video.

Registration is online at

Journal Gazette staff writers Jamie Duffy and Dave Gong contributed to this report.

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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