It looks as if State Rep. Curt Nisly may well have some competition next year if he chooses to seek re-election to his District 22 seat.
The first to step forward is Democrat Paul Heimbach, who has already begun campaigning and spoke last weekend at the Democratic party fundraiser on the S.S. Lillypad on Lake Wawasee.
The Warsaw man, who turns 52 on July 7, is employed with OMCO, a metal roll forming company with a plant in Pierceton. He’s pledging to run an active campaign and contends Nisly focuses too much on abortion and gun rights while ignoring “quality of life” issues.
There’s more to life than just birth, Heimbach said.
I’m hearing Heimbach may not be the only one eventually vying for Nisly’s seat. Other names are surfacing and I was told by three people in separate conversations recently that a top Republican from the General Assembly was in Warsaw earlier this month seeking to recruit a Republican to challenge Nisly.
While Nisly is popular with his constituents because of his strong support for gun rights and his equally-ardent opposition to abortion, fellow Republican lawmakers have found him hard to work with. He especially riled Republicans when he tried to insert an amendment concerning “constitutional carry” into a bill late in the session earlier this year.
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UPHILL FIGHT — Zionsville Attorney John Westercamp formally announced his bid earlier this week to challenge Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill in the Republican primary next year. Westercamp made the announcement in a series of stops, including one in Elkhart (Hill’s hometown) where he gained the support of State Rep. Tim Wesco. On Facebook, Wesco described Westercamp as a passionate, dedicated man “who will fight for conservative values and represent the state with respect.”
Hill has been dogged by claims from several women that he groped them. Four of the women filed suit against him last week. Last year, a special prosecutor launched an investigation into the allegations and found the claims “credible” but declined to press criminal charges.
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GOP NEWS — A few notes of interest from local Republicans:
- Former Kosciusko County GOP Chair Jean Northenor is recovering at home after suffering serious heart ailment. Normally, I keep personal health matters private, but the local GOP Facebook page posted an update on her condition. We wish her a quick recovery.
- The GOP golf outing is July 24 at Rozella golf course. County Councilwoman Joni Truex is organizing that event.
- Kosciusko County Republican Women’s Club achieved “Sapphire Club” status for its heightened level of activity. Suzanne Heinzmann, president of the Indiana Federation of Republican Women, stopped in Warsaw to present leaders of the group with a bucket of goodies and a tip of the hat.
- The GOP headquarters at the corner of Lake and Center streets in Warsaw is selling plenty of political stuff. Shirts touting President Donald Trump are $20. Shirts for Rep. Jim Banks are free. They also have mugs, posters and flags available.
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DEMO PARTY NEWS — A few notes of interest from local Democrats:
- Organizers hope this weekend’s Tri-State Cornfield Conference at the Noble County Fairgrounds in Kendallville will attract several hundred people. The conference will include a wide variety of training sessions and is believed to be one of the few times Democrats in Indiana have tried to put together a regional conference. This event is hosted by the Noble County Democrats with support from party faithful in Dekalb, Kosciusko, Lagrange and Whitley counties.
- Sarah McNeal Strahan Lenfesty, a Warsaw city council candidate for District 1, has been endorsed by the Indiana Democrat African American Caucus. Her name appeared on a statewide list of candidates.
- Local Dems are tentatively planning a vigil for 6 p.m., July 12, at the Kosciusko County Courthouse to express their views about what they consider to be “concentration camps” used to house illegal immigrants.
Dan Spalding covers city government and politics for InkFreeNews.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.