Institute for women considering running for office

Local News

It’s a chance for women to find their voice in the political landscape.

Advancing Voices of Women is hosting a Women’s Campaign Institute this weekend at Camp Red Cedar, 3900 Hursh Rd, Fort Wayne. 

The event is designed for women who are seriously considering running for elected office at the township, city, county, and state level. 

“I’m here to get some ideas and really understand what it would take to run,” said Paula McGee, a licensed attorney who is considering a run for office. 

The group of women will spend most of the weekend together. They will hear from a number of speakers with different political backgrounds and learn what it takes to run a good campaign. Former U.S. congresswoman, Jill Long Thompson, was one of the speakers Saturday. 

“This particular institute to train, in a nonpartisan way, women to run for office is incredibly valuable not just to them, but to the community,” said Thompson. 

The institute is also a learning opportunity for first-time candidates, like Marty Lemert, who is running for state representative for District 52 against the incumbent, Ben Smaltz. 

“I’m a life-long learner, I took up the sport of curling in my 40’s and went to two national championships doing it,” said Lemert. “So I love to learn, I love to continue to learn and this is an opportunity to continue doing so.”

In a time where, nationally, women are running for office in record numbers, this institute is giving this group of women the tools they need to succeed. 

“You don’t get the experience if you don’t start and you don’t take that leap of faith,” said Lemert. 

This is the first year for the Women’s Political Institute. To learn more about it and about AVOW go to their website

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