by Mitchell Kirk
The Cass County Republican Party is preparing for new faces and new goals as a new group of leaders gets ready to take the helm for the next four years.
Logansport resident Julie Byrd has been named the candidate for the Cass County Republican Central committee. With a master’s degree in information and communications sciences from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University, she was formerly the information technology director at Logansport Memorial Hospital and an associate professor at Ivy Tech Community College. She is also the president of the Logansport Rotary Club and a former United Way of Cass County campaign chair.
Bob Ehle Jr., director of Cass County Solid Waste Management District, has been nominated to be the committee’s vice chair. Theresa Deitrich, former owner of Latte on a Leash, was nominated as treasurer. Up for the committee’s secretary position is Roxanne Galbreath, who worked as a secretary for Tyson Foods and is currently the secretary of Calvary Presbyterian Church.
The nominations were announced at the 106th annual Cass County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Day Dinner at Calvary Presbyterian Church Friday night, an event that brought in more than 250 guests, including Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
The Indiana State Republican Party will vote on whether to approve Byrd’s nomination April 17. Cass County GOP precinct leaders will vote whether to approve Ehle, Deitrich and Galbreath April 29.
“Everyone always talks about energy,” Byrd said after the dinner. “Being in a room with people with the same aspirations for the community, it’s energizing to be involved. I’m truly excited to take this on.”
Along with the new faces will come a new set of goals, which Byrd outlined in a statement as including utilizing newspapers, radio stations, email, direct mail and social networking to disperse the party’s message, developing new fundraising ideas to assist candidates and identifying new candidates to run for future city and county positions.
The goal regarding recruitment is one of the reasons Cass County Council President George Stebbins thinks Byrd will make a good chairwoman.
“It’s exciting because most of the new people that’s going to lead us, our new people, new faces, are going to help bring us more people to the Republican Party and different people who haven’t been involved in the past,” he said.
Although Byrd has little prior experience in politics, she feels her background as an IT director and former United Way campaign chair have provided her with the skills to take on the position.
“My expertise lie in management, fundraising and leadership and I believe that’s very important to bring to this party,” she said.
“She’s a little light on the political side,” said Tom Weatherwax, the Cass County Republican Central Committee’s outgoing vice chairman, “but I think it’s a plus. She’ll have to learn that part of the business. She’ll be approaching it in a different way.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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