The votes from the 2nd District Democratic Precinct Committee are in: Mike Schmuhl, 28, has been chosen as the new Democratic Party Chair for the 2nd District.
“I think Mike’ll do a great job, and he’ll work with all ten counties in the district. One won’t be treated any differently than another; he’ll work for all of us and we got a good leader,” said Kenny Wallace, the Starke County Democrat Chairman.
The committee met on Sunday to elect the new chair following the resignation of long-time district chairman Butch Morgan last month. Conducted by Zanzer Anderson of Elkhart, the District Vice Chairperson, the caucus gave the four candidates an opportunity to express why they should be elected.
Schmuhl said during his speech that he would like to create more communication from the district level to the county level, ensuring every chair and vice-chair in the district is up to speed on everything that is happening with the party.
Schmuhl was ultimately elected on the first ballot, defeating Barb Huston and Terry Bartley. Andrew Straw withdrew his candidacy at the end of his speech in support of Bartley. Schmuhl had worked previously on the Joe Donnelly race in 2010, as well as the mayoral race of Pete Buttigieg for South Bend.
“What I want to do is try to build on my record of success. Both of those races were very, very difficult. Joe Donnelly was one of three Democrats in the United States to win in a Republican-leaning district and that’s something that we need to build upon here in North Central Indiana,” said Schmuhl. “Also, with Pete’s race: Pete got in, and a number of people were saying, ‘He’s too young, he should wait his turn,’ but Pete looked at those folks and he said, ‘You know, I’m going to do this because I have the right ideas and the right energy to become the next mayor of South Bend,’ and that’s exactly what he did.”