Political Notebook

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Donnelly appoints northeast Indiana director

Jorge Ortiz has been named northeast regional director for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, who plans to open an office in Fort Wayne in September.

Ortiz previously was a case manager for Donnelly, D-Ind., specializing in issues related to employment and military veterans, according to Donnelly's staff.

The appointment was first reported by Indiana Legislative Insight. The newsletter said that Ortiz, like Donnelly a University of Notre Dame graduate, also had been the first-year senator's Latino outreach director. He has been working at Donnelly's Indianapolis office.

Ortiz joined Donnelly's staff in late 2011, when Donnelly was a member of the House representing the South Bend-based 2nd District.

Ortiz is scheduled to take part in a Wednesday discussion on legislation and public policy relating to Alzheimer's care, research and diagnosis. He and Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, will participate in the invitation-only program at 4:15 p.m. at the local office of the Alzheimer's Association's Greater Indiana Chapter.

Donnelly's staff gave no details on plans for a Fort Wayne office other than to say Tuesday that it will open in September and Ortiz will be based there. Political Notebook did learn that Donnelly looked into obtaining space at the E. Ross Adair Federal Building but was told nothing is available.

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, have office suites in the downtown Adair building, which also houses federal courts and agencies. Donnelly's predecessor, former Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, had offices there until 2008, when he moved his local staff to space in Covington Plaza, a retail center along Jefferson Boulevard in southwest Fort Wayne.

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