FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Monday night two Democratic caucuses filled two Indiana House District ballot vacancies.
The Democratic ticket now has candidates for Indiana’s House District 84 and Indiana House District 52.
Emma Steele is a native of Fort Wayne and is the Democratic candidate for District 84. This is her first time running for a political office and she will go head to head with Rep. Bob Morris, House District 84’s incumbent for nearly 10 years.
“I’m rather disappointed with the current representation of District 84. I don’t think the interest of everyday people is being prioritized,” said Steele. “Particularly with the respect of climate change, racial injustice, health care accessibility, income equality, and workers’ rights. I love my community and I want to see us thrive well into the future.”
Steele said when she saw that Rep. Morris was running unopposed, she knew she had to step up. She is a local climate activist and freelance writer.
“I live in the district and we get about one mailer every two years of him saying ‘I am in office, vote for me again’, but we don’t really see him do anything out there,” said Steele.
Steele emphasized that climate change is her biggest issue.
“It’s the biggest threat in Indiana right now,” said Steele. “He had 10-years to do something about it, we know the science and nothing has happened.
Martha “Marty” Lemert has her eyes set on the District 52. She ran for this seat back in 20-18 but was unsuccessful.
She is throwing her hat back in the ring. Ben Smaltz is the current representative for District 52 and has held that seat since 2012.
Lemert told WANE 15 that she is running again because this pandemic hasn’t created problems but exposed problems at the state level of government. The focus of her platform is to put Hoosier families first.
Lemert mentioned that the state doesn’t have any paid leave laws, and the minimum wage should be raised above the federal level.
“I also want to talk about establishing better fairness for Hoosiers. We need a real hate crimes bill that includes LGBTQ citizens,” said Lemert. “We need justice reform as we can see from all of the protests that have been happening”.
According to Lemert, elected representatives at the statehouse needs to work harder on education and education reform.
“What this pandemic has shown is how much teachers do,” said Lemert. “My kids are doing remote learning and this really highlighted how valuable teachers are.”