Indiana State Senate District 18, previously held by Randy Head and now held by Stacey Donato, R-Logansport, will be contested for the first time since 2008.
Laura Fred-Smith, a teacher at Logansport Junior High School, is throwing her hat into the ring for the November election, running as a Democrat.
District 18 covers Cass, Miami and Fulton, along with portions of Carroll, Marshall and Kosciusko counties.
Fred-Smith has lived in Cass County her whole life. The daughter of a union electrician and a mental health nurse, she is a graduate of Logansport High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Indiana University Kokomo and a master’s degree in building administration from Western Governors University.
Fred-Smith and her high school sweetheart, Scott Smith, have been married for more than 20 years and together they have two sons.
Education is on everyone’s mind this year with the rally at the statehouse and education topics being addressed across the nation. However, Fred-Smith stated she has more on her mind — education is only a piece of the puzzle.
“According to America’s health rankings, Indiana has the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the nation and is ranked 48 for the death of the mother,” Fred-Smith recently said at a meeting with supporters. “Indiana is ranked 35th for median income and 51st for wage growth among teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on numbers from the ACLU, 77%of our county jails are overcrowded, and some in our district have the highest county jail admission rates. These are real issues affecting everyday people in our communities, and some of the many reasons I have chosen to run.”
One of her goals will be to increase the minimum wage. In the counties that make up District 18, a single person living on his or her own needs to make $9.45 per hour to be able to afford the bare necessities. This is the smallest apartment, a car, groceries and insurance. This is only $1.80 more than the current minimum wage. Fred-Smith says Hoosiers deserve better.
Fred-Smith will be having a fundraiser at Amelio’s on the River in Logansport 2-4 p.m. on Feb. 9. For RSVP or more information, contact LauraforSenate18@gmail.com or Linda Wright 574-355-9019.