Republican and Democratic candidates for the May Primary participated in the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Candidate Night Tuesday. The event was held in the Celebration Room of the Syracuse Community Center.
A total of 60 individuals attended, with 14 of those being candidates for nominations in May. Candidates for U.S. Representative, State Representative, judges, county commissioner, county auditor, county recorder and county sheriff were each given several minutes to introduce themselves. Some provided personal information, why he/she would be good for the job, and/or their platform.
Those attending on a national or state office level: Joe Bock, Democrat candidate for U.S. Rep. District 2; Jim Redmond, Democrat candidate for U.S. Rep. District 3; and David Kolbe (D), and Rebecca Kubaki (R-incumbent) and Curt Nisley (R), all for State Rep. District 22.
Following the brief speeches, the public was invited to speak one on one with any candidate of their choice or all the candidates.
Tony Ciriello, chamber member and Syracuse Police Chief, was master of ceremony for the evening and began, “This is the first year for the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber to host an event like this. We felt it important to bring candidates running for political office to our neck of the woods to meet the constituents up here.”
It was noted there are a number of good races within the county, with all candidates being knowledgeable and qualified. Ciriello noted several of the guest speakers for the evening were candidates unopposed on their party’s primary ballot, but “is important you know who they are.”
Ciriello, kept the candidates on the 2-minute time, with one candidate joking “Two minutes is a very short time for an attorney to talk, but an eternity if you’re looking for a bathroom.” The candidates were introduced in alphabetical order for the evening.
Federal and State Candidates
Bock, with a farming background and a professional firefighter, noted he was a lawmaker for six years in Missouri serving as vice chairman of commerce and chair of energy and environment committee, before working with Catholic Relief Services in the Middle East. “I think our government is not functioning well, I don’t think it matters what your political party, I think we need to focus on pragmatic problem solving. I think we have far too much ideology. I think we need to focus on getting things done that need to be done in this country, to bring jobs back and make our life better …”
Redmond commented he is alarmed at the number of moderates leaving the government. We have problems, real problems and we need to work together and I will work together, I will listen to anybody and everybody … plan a way to balance our budget, there’s no ifs ands or buts … willing to listen to anybody how to achieve that it has to be done for our children and grandchildren.”
Kolbe stated at the legislative level there are poorly written laws that are coming out at ground level applications. “My goal is to help in writing better laws, amending those that need changed and appealing those laws that just don’t work. My political philosophy, I’m middle of the road, I look at the individual issues, and I decide what I think is the best way to go. Sometimes I agree with those on the right, sometimes on the left, usually I look for a compromise …”
Kubacki noted she is a true conservative, noting the voting records reflects if someone is a true conservative or not. She pointed out she voted for limited government; fiscal responsibility, supporting a balanced budget and tax cuts; pro-life; protecting Second Amendment rights and protecting the constitution. “For me, it really does go beyond just being conservative. I love my state and I want to keep Indiana forward.”
Nisley, owner of a small business, stated people of Indiana are competitive and hardworking. Citizens need to be free to seek progress, churches need to be free to worship and do outreach and people need to be free to pursue happiness as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. “As your representative I will listen and respect my constituents and I will vote based on the principles of life, liberty and prosperity.”