The Journal Gazette
Sunday, August 09, 2020 1:00 am

County Democrats' dinner to go virtual

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

The Allen County Democratic Party has announced that its annual fundraising dinner will be a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The party said last week its dinner will be a Zoom video conference from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18. The keynote speaker will be Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.

Other speakers will include gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers, lieutenant governor candidate Linda Lawson, attorney general candidate Jonathon Weinzapfel and Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta of Fort Wayne. Xeryus Johnson, a local delegate to the Democratic National Convention, will sing.

Dinner participants are encouraged to order food from local businesses. Event contribution options include $30 a ticket or $50 for two people, $500 for True Blue sponsors, $1,000 for Chairwoman's Club sponsors and $1,500 for Fighting Donkey sponsors. Contributions must be made by Sept. 11 to secure attendance. A link to the event will be sent the week before the event.

Reservations may be made online at Those interested in becoming sponsors should call 260-478-8239.


Gov. Eric Holcomb last week made several appointments to various state boards and commissions.

They include:

Michael Riehm of Kendallville – to the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation. He is the retired chief of the Kendallville Fire Department.

Keith Beer of Berne – to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. He co-owns Beer Cattle Co.

Keith Masten of Roanoke – to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana. He is the medical staff president at Lutheran Hospital of Fort Wayne.


Summer study committees are starting up soon in the Indiana General Assembly. Here are the panel assignments for area senators:

Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne – State Budget Committee; Distressed Unit Appeal Board; Indiana Schools for the Deaf and the Blind or Visually Impaired Task Force and Board; Medicaid Advisory.

Sen. Justin Busch, R-Fort Wayne – Corrections and Criminal Code; Environmental Affairs; Public Safety and Military Affairs.

Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange – Agriculture and Natural Resources; Indiana Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission; Legislative Council.

Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle – Fiscal Policy; Simplified State Sales Tax Administration Delegate.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn – Education; Employment and Labor.

Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington – Midwest Higher Education Commission; Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Financial Institutions and Insurance; Midwestern Higher Education Compact; Advisory Board for the Principal Institute.

N. Haven ex-mayor to lead chamber

Former New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald has been tapped to lead the city's Chamber of Commerce.

In a July 28 Facebook post, the Chamber said its board had chosen McDonald as the new CEO, replacing Charlie Hatten, who recently retired.

“Most people know Terry from his 40+ years of service to the city of New Haven. Terry has served our city as a Medic with Emergency 45, a Police Officer with (the New Haven Police Department) and the last 20 years as mayor,” the Chamber posted. “Terry loves New Haven and is looking forward to continuing his passion and commitment to the businesses of New Haven.”

McDonald, a Republican, announced in 2018 he would not seek reelection after 20 years in office. He was succeeded by fellow Republican Steve McMichael, who at that time was a New Haven City Council member.

Voting urged

The League of Women Voters of Fort Wayne has announced the launch of a social media campaign to encourage voting and voter education among young adults.

The nonpartisan League said it has begun an Instagram account, LWVFW, and is asking users to “like” the site and share posts on their own Instagram pages. The League will have a weekly drawing for a $10 coupon to a fast-food restaurant for followers who post and tag two friends as well as the League.

Millennials – people born from 1981 to 1996 – and Gen Z – those born after 1996 – account for nearly 40% of the eligible voting population but have the lowest voter turnout rates among age groups, the League said.

“Participation is essential to effective governance and democracy only works when everyone votes,” Sharon Busick Howell, convener of LWVFW, said in a news release.

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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 

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily