LEESBURG — “I started getting involved (in politics) in 2012 on Joe Donnelly’s first run,” said Brian Smith of Leesburg. Smith is the chairman of the Kosciusko County Democrats.
His interest in politics was peaked when he saw how Senator Richard Lugar was treated when he ran against Richard Mourdock, then state treasurer in 2013. Calling Lugar an incredible statesman, “We had a senator ranked as one of the most bi-partisan in the country,” he said. After seeing what happened in the Lugar-Mourdock debate, Smith felt he had to get involved, and as a Democrat, knew “it would be a tough slug.”
After the 2012 election, Smith was asked to serve as county treasurer for the Kosciusko County Democratic Party. He was recently elected committee chair. As the committee chair, he is responsible for fundraising, to make sure there are enough funds to support candidates in upcoming races. He is also busy with recruiting candidates.
He’s even run for state representative. He enjoys talking to people especially during election season. “You don’t know what people are thinking until you sit down and talk to them,” he said.
Smith pointed out several elected offices will have races including two state representatives, a county commissioner, all five county council positions and township trustees. Finding people to run for office may not be as difficult as in the past. Smith said since the election, several people in the party have approached him expressing an interest in running for office.
“More people are coming to our meetings and want to get involved,” he said. “Nobody should be intimidated (about running for office). There is a significant time commitment, but there are people there to help you.” The committee is looking for someone who is passionate about serving.
Smith’s vice chair is Vicki Morton, Syracuse, is working with him on a couple of new fund-raisers, including one on the Lilly Pad on Lake Wawasee and on Veteran’s Day, a salute to area service men, as well as some smaller events.
Smith is a graduate of Valparaiso University and works for Parker Hannifin in its rubber plant in Goshen. He works in the lab testing products coming off the line, making sure they are ready to be shipped out.
A Leesburg native, Smith is a big Colts and Pacers fan and enjoys playing basketball whenever possible.
Kosciusko County Democrats usually meet the first Monday of the month at the Warsaw Community Public Library, however, during the summer a new location will be found due to library programming.
For meeting location or more information email [email protected]