Pharos-Tribune

Local News

December 9, 2012

The end of an era: Weatherwaxes prepare to step down

Couple will give up leadership in the Cass County Republican Party in March.

LOGANSPORT — Four years ago, Kay Weatherwax anticipated the agenda of a breakfast meeting and made her husband, Tom, promise that he would not take leadership of the Cass County Republican Party.

At it turned out, though, it was Kay, not Tom, who was offered the position, and the pair stepped up as chair and vice chair of the county party. Many say they have revolutionized the party in their four-year tenure. As they prepare to leave their positions in March, the Weatherwaxes are looking to step back from almost 30 years in the political arena.

Before he became a state representative, Tom said he did not view himself as a political person. So when Tom, who was working at The Andersons and served on community boards, was asked to be a state representative, he said it came as a bit of a shock.  

“I was flabbergasted, flattered,” Tom said.

He said he accepted the position to give back to the community, and he accepted yet another position when he was asked to become a state senator.

“I loved it,” Tom said. “I could serve more.”  

After serving as senator from 1988 to 2008 and picking up a national honor of state legislator of the year in 1995, Tom prepared himself to officially retire along with his wife Kay, who had worked as a paralegal at Miller, Tolbert and Muehlhausen.

At the time of their retirement, Kay thought the county Republican Party would call on Tom to step back into politics and lead the party. Instead, her name was called.  

“They want me because they knew they’d have you in that team,” she said she thought at the time.

“They knew you were a hard worker,” Tom countered.

Tom said he and Kay accepted their positions only because they felt they needed to give back to the community that had helped to elect Tom.

“We really wanted to give back,” he said.

The pair started their terms with the objective to shake up leadership in the party.  

“The main goal was really to get younger people involved,” Kay said.

Kay said she started with the precinct chairs, who go door-to-door to campaign for candidates and make sure residents are registered to vote.

“They are the grassroots,” Kay said.

Meanwhile, the pair also worked to get the finances of the party in order, so that the party would be able to give money to candidates in the tough races and still have some left over.

City Councilman Bob Bishop praised their leadership.

“They’ve just been incredible,” he said.

When it was time to fill the open positions for the 2012 election, Kay said, they looked for people who had strong community involvement, but hadn’t necessarily been in politics before.  

“A lot of the candidates we’ve picked are new,” Tom said.

With Republicans winning all but two elections on the county ballot, Tom called the election “a huge success.”

“I think the future has never been brighter,” he said.

But once the officials take office, Tom said, he and Kay do not try to influence their policies in any way.

“I think we had a great deal of involvement in getting them elected, but we don’t use any of our influence on them after they’re elected,” Tom said.  

After the party names a new chair and vice chair, the pair will step down in March. Kay said she is ready to travel and visit their six children and 16 grandchildren.

“I feel this definitely is our end,” Kay said.

But Tom, who acknowledged that he and his wife were “failing at their retirement,” said he was also ready to step away a bit from politics and retire as vice chair.

“We’ve played this game for 30 years,” he said.

He said he’ll also step down as vice chair of the Grissom Community Council and as president of the Hoosier Heartland Industrial Corridor.

He admits, though, that he’ll still be keeping an eye on what’s going on.

Milt Cole, owner of Cole Hardwood in Logansport, said he had known Tom Weatherwax for 45 years and that he believed the pair had helped politics in the county as well as the state.

“They’ve made a great contribution to Cass County,” Cole said.  

Bishop, who says he looks up to the Weatherwaxes, said the party would have a hard time picking their replacements.

“In some ways, I hate to lose them because they’ve been huge in resurrecting the Republican Party here in Cass County,” Bishop said.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition