2020 Challengers

So Far...

Naomi Bechtold

House District 24

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Naomi is from Carmel.

  • She is an Extension Specialist for Purdue University's Cooperative Extension Service where she  works with Extension Educators throughout the state to provide them with resources and training in the areas of personal financial and family resource management.  

  • She earned her B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University. 

  • She is a board member of the Carmel Clay Parks Foundation.

I made the decision to run for State House Representative after the 2016 election. I realized I’d rather be the one making the laws to help us, than reacting to the laws that hurt us. I am not a career politician- I am a neighbor who cares deeply about Indiana and the residents of Carmel, Zionsville and Westfield.

 

We ended up receiving 42% of the vote totals in 2018. Given the Republican history of Hamilton & Boone Counties, we were so proud of these results and are ready to run again in 2020.

 

If elected, my promise to you is to always listen first, and then vote according to your interests along with what is best for Indiana so that we can make a difference for District 24.

Ashley Klein

Indiana House District 39

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Ashley is from Carmel.

  • She is a Realtor at F.C. Tucker Company, Carmel, Indiana.

  • She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University in 2003.

  • She served as an Indiana House Democratic Intern for Representatives Greg Porter, Vanessa Summers and John Aguilera.

  • She is a licensed commercial real estate appraiser.

  • She served as a fundraiser for the United Way of Central Indiana and helped to provide housing, financial literacy, job placement and healthcare for Indiana’s youth aged 18 - 25 who had aged out of state foster care . 

I am a lifelong resident of Washington Township and Carmel and have spent over fifteen years in real estate - working with folks from different backgrounds, helping them discover their place in our neighborhoods.  As I listen to people, I learn about their love for the community as well as their worries and concerns for the future. 

 

I'm running for Indiana State Senate because I care deeply about this District and I believe Hoosiers deserve a better quality of life.

 

We need a leader who will advance the values and interests of this welcoming and dynamic community. 

 

We need a leader who will work in the state legislature to move Indiana forward by investing in Pre-K and K-12 education, fixing our aging infrastructure, and protecting access to reproductive care. 

 

We need a leader who puts constituents first and works across the aisle to make our communities stronger.

 

I am committed to fighting for an Indiana that makes life better for all Hoosiers and wll work hard to deliver solutions that move Senate District 30 forward. 

Aimee Rivera Cole

Indiana House District 37

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Aimee is from Indianapolis.

  • She is a Senior Attorney at Travelers Staff Counsel. 

  • She served as Membership Chair of the Sagamore Inn of Courts from 2015-2017, Vice-President of the Sagamore Inn of Courts from 2017-2019 and President, since 2019;  She served as Treasurer of Fishers Gridiron 2016-2019; and Treasurer of HSE Girls Lacrosse since 2019.

We have an opportunity with each election to decide what kind of state we want to be. 

  • I want my children (and hopefully one day my grandchildren) to know that I did everything I could  to try protect our public education system which is being starved into failure.

  • I want them to know that I fought to make sure Indiana is a place where women have control of their own reproductive health and that all Hoosiers have the same opportunities to contribute to their community regardless of race, gender, religion, or who they love.

  • I want common sense gun laws enacted so that all Hoosier children feel safe when they go to school and no parent ever has to experience the horror of another school shooting report.

  • I want my children to know that nothing can prevent them from trying to fight for the change that they want to see in this world.

 

In 2018, I earned more than 45 % of the vote - much more than many expected. I also learned a lot about myself and about my community. I have an amazing family and wonderful friends who went above and beyond to help me.  Politics is not theoretical, but rather quite personal. People in my community didn’t care whether I was a Democrat or Republican.  They wanted someone who listened to them, who understood the challenges we face day to day in our community, and who wanted to make our community better, safer and stronger.  And, after knocking on thousands of doors, it became clear that all Hoosiers want essentially the same things; for our families to be happy, healthy, safe, and nearby.  

 

As your State Representative, I will:

  • Work to ensure our public schools have the resources they need

    • Stop allowing tax dollars to fund private schools that discriminate against students or teachers

    • Reduce voucher eligibility and increase oversight on charter, voucher, and virtual schools

    • Make sure teachers earn a living wage.

  • Work to ensure that abortions are safe, legal, and rare.

    • I will work to ensure that women have access to affordable health care, sex education, birth control,  affordable day care, and paid maternity leave.

  • Work to pass a meaningful Hate Crimes bill that with a full enumerated list of protected characteristics and traits including: age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.

Cindy Reinert

Indiana House District 58

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Cindy is from Greenwood, south of Indianapolis.

She is a mother, grandmother, retired lawyer, phlebotomist, hotelier, bartender, and salesperson. 

She was raised in Perry Township, just north of Johnson County, and has lived in Johnson County at least half of her life.

I was one of the first members of the Board of Directors for ICADV, (Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence), a registered Family Law Mediator, and pro tem Judge,

 

I bought a B&B in a third world country and taught school in the jungles of Central America for ten years.  

 

I ran for office in 2018 because I was tired of the 10-year assault on teachers, taxpayers, and the environment. My focus was, and is, the three "E"'s - Education, Economy, and the Environment.

 

I am an old school activist, wore a POW and MIA bracelet and was against the Vietnam war before I could drive.

I learned that people are people, no matter what walk of life they come from, and that most people, like me, really just want to give their children and grandchildren a better life than they had.

Cinde Wirth

Indiana House District 59

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Cinde is a 7th Generation Hoosier, born and raised in Columbus.  She taught High School Biology and Environmental Science, as well as Spanish Language and Culture in Columbus. She is also an Underwater Biological and Cultural Resources Consultant, an Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow Alumni and a Ph.D. Student in Educational Policy Studies at Ball State.  She earned a  B.A. degree in Biology & Spanish from University of Evansville and a M.A. degree in Archaeology from Indiana University.

My family has called Indiana home for over 7 generations.  We live in a beautiful State filled with bright, innovative, hard-working Hoosiers who deserve better education, better paying jobs, and clean, healthy air, water, and land to ensure a better life for themselves and their families. Hoosiers deserve new, fresh, competent, experienced representation in all of these critical areas and my expertise gives me the ability to do that.  

I am not a politician.  I am a life-long Hoosier, a scientist, a teacher, and a small business owner.  My expertise in education, science, and small business along with my experience analyzing and writing policy will benefit all Hoosiers. I am ready to lead the changes that Indiana needs for all Hoosiers to have a better life.  

I was sent to Washington, D.C. as a science and education expert to work with the U.S. House of Representatives in the 115th and 116th Congresses. I gained experience working collaboratively in a bipartisan manner to accomplish policy goals that positively affected all people. I will bring those practical experiences to the Indiana Statehouse and utilize them to work on behalf of all Indiana District 59 constituents.  

Theresa Bruno

Indiana Senate District 28

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Theresa is a native Hoosier, who grew up in Elkhart and moved to Central Indiana in 2005.

She graduated from Butler University in 2002 with a degree in History and Religious Studies and earned a Masters Degree in Library Science from IUPUI in 2008.

She is an Adjunct Professor at Ivy Tech and currently serves on the Warren Park Town Council; as Treasurer on the Indiana National Road Association; and is a member of the local League of Women Voters

As an educator, I know the challenges that educators face every day. Schools need increased funding, so educators can teach and students can learn. Teachers should not be teaching to a test and teacher’s compensation shouldn’t be tied to how well the students do on it. Our state house needs educators in the legislature to champion the needs of all students.

Infrastructure shapes the way our communities function. Without working infrastructure, our people cannot get to their jobs, the water does not run, the sewers backup, and electricity goes out. Businesses will not come into a community with crumbling infrastructure. Crops cannot be planted or transported. Outdated infrastructure is a weakness, a vulnerability, and it can potentially be a public health threat.

Economic Development leads the way to higher wages, better jobs, and a flourishing economy. Our community will economically thrive when we educate our people, invest in infrastructure, and support small businesses in our community. I would do this by investing in people who invest in the community and support our small businesses with innovative programs.

I am your senate district 28 champion. I will champion education, infrastructure, and economic development. I look forward to meeting with the constituents of senate district 28 and earning your vote!

Belinda Drake

Indiana House District 89

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Belinda lives in Indianapolis.  

She began working as a Project Manager at Covance Laboratories in 2016.  Previously, she worked as an Intern for US Congressman Andre Carson.

She was raised in Gary, Indiana, but moved to Indianapolis 2004, where she attended IUPUI on a basketball scholarship and earned a BA in Political Science and Legal Studies.   

I think we heal ourselves by helping other people overcome adversities.  I want to be an ally and a voice to the local queer community because I know that others have  difficult stories like mine.  I will work to pass a hate crimes bill that protects Hoosiers from crimes motivated by age, sex, and gender identity.

  • I will work to decriminalize marijuana, to support our farmers, and create tax revenue to support improved infrastructure;

  • I will work election reform, including same day voter registration, extended polling hours, and more voting locations;

  • I will support access to Pre-K and higher education for under-served communities;

  • I will support a livable minimum for all Hoosiers;

  • I will support access to health care, expansion of Medicaid, and adjusting eligibility guidelines based on real-world wages and costs of living;

  • I support common-sense gun regulation that includes expanded background checks, closing gun show and red flag loop holes, requiring gun safety training, child access prevention laws, and research into effective gun violence protection policies. to protect those who are a danger to themselves or others;

  • I will fight for environmental justice;

  • I will support plans for sustainable development and jobs that ensure our water and wilderness are protected

Angela Elliott

Indiana House District 93

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Angela is a life-long Hoosier.  She was raised in rural Indiana.  Then, attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where she studied computer science and business.  After graduating, she moved to the south side of Indy to begin her career as an IT Professional at Eli Lilly and Company.  She held various program management, consulting and leadership positions in her 21 year tenure there.  She has also worked as an independent business consultant and trainer.  She continues to reside with her husband and her two children on the southside of Indy.

I'm running for State Representative for district #93, because I'm a concerned citizen and want to make a difference for my children and all Hoosiers.  I also want to practice what I preach:  when you are concerned, get engaged and do something about it.  Our report card in Indiana on Education, Employment, Environment and Equality for All needs improvement.  I care deeply about these four issues and am ready to work to make a difference.  I want to take my professional skills and passion for serving others to the General Assembly to work on policy and legislation that will move Indiana forward, for my children and for all Hoosiers.

 

The current legislature is not serving ALL of the people of Indiana. We need more balance in our legislature to ensure the best ideas are debated to get to the best solutions for all of us. We also need more balance to bring back accountability. Politics as usual and complacency are not serving our citizens and communities. Not only are Democrats underrepresented in our state legislature, women are underrepresented, as well.  I wholeheartedly believe that more diversity in perspective in the statehouse will bring about solutions that better serve more of us.  We MUST do better.

 

I've served as a precinct committee person and state delegate.  These have been great learning opportunities.  I'm ready to do more to impact major issues that affect the quality of life for Hoosiers.  I want Indiana to be a place where my children and yours, and all Hoosiers, can thrive.  Excellence in public education, good job opportunities, protection of our air, water, and soil, and equality for ALL people are critical to our future and will enable Hoosiers to thrive.

 

My promise to you is that I will work hard to listen, to learn, and to act in the best interests of the people of district #93 and our state.  We MUST do better.  Let's work together and make it happen!

Stay Tuned for more announcements of strong, Democratic women running for a seat in the Indiana Legislature!

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