I was fortunate enough to be elected Republican precinct committeeman in my precinct (Noblesville 12) in the last election. The major responsibility of that job is to staff the polling place for elections, but we also have the privilege of helping choose a successor when a member of our party steps down from elected office, as Luke Kenley did from the state Senate recently.
It’s a unique experience because, although we are electing a senator, the process is much different from a normal election. There are only 98 precincts in Senate District 20 and each committeeman gets one vote. Candidates are required to win by a simple majority, so from a candidate’s point of view, it’s a relatively easy campaign in that he/she can literally speak one-on-one to every person who will cast a vote. That’s likely one reason so many people (seven) ran for the seat.
From a committeman’s point of view, it’s a chance to meet candidates at a level you seldom see in politics. I had meetings that lasted more than an hour with five of the seven candidates, spoke to a sixth on the phone and received letters, post cards or phone calls from all seven of them. All were more than willing to spend time explaining their positions and answering questions. It was remarkable.
The caucus itself was remarkable for its low-tech approach. Instead of computerized balloting systems we’re used to for primaries and general elections, this election was conducted with colored paper ballots stuffed into a shoe box with a hole cut into the top. It was a refreshing change and drove home the point that as much as we complicate the electoral process, it’s really pretty simple.
I came away from this election impressed with the level of talent we have here in Hamilton County. Any of these seven candidates could have done this job well. I was also impressed by the fact that by the fourth ballot, with four candidates still in the race, three were women. In the end, we elected a woman who is also an immigrant. I am proud of our party and our county for living up to the ideal that everyone gets a fair shake here. Victoria Spartz is a hard worker with a business background and she earned this position. I have high hopes and high expectations for her.
I am delighted to welcome a new columnist to our lineup this edition. Business ethics is an important topic that doesn’t get enough attention. I think its valuable to remind ourselves of the importance of conducting business on sound ethical principles. Our previous ethics columnist retired a few years ago and I’ve been on the lookout ever since. I think we’ve found a winner in Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow. I hope you agree.
My Annual Pitch
One of my favorite sayings is: Nothing happens until someone sells something. It’s unclear who originated that thought but it is fundamental to a capitalist system, and I’m happy to do my part. So here it is: We are in budgeting season for next year. If you have a need to market your product or service to Hamilton County’s business community, you are reading the most cost-effective publication to reach that market. Let us go to work for you. I’d be happy to send you more info on advertising if you email me at the address below.