FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – It was an eventful day for Allen County Republicans as two announcements were made that will affect the future of the party.
One announcement Monday was that Fort Wayne native and current State Auditor Tim Berry was elected as Indiana’s Republican Chair. Berry says he began his political career as a staff member for former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke and was elected Allen County Treasurer in 1990. Berry was elected State Treasurer in 1998 and State Auditor in 2006.
Governor Mike Pence announced Berry's nomination on July 3, but on Monday the Republican Executive Committee unanimously voted to elect Berry for State GOP Chair.
Not only was that announcement made, but also the Republican State Convention will be held in Fort Wayne in 2014, at the Grand Wayne Center downtown. Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine says this is the first time in history the GOP State Convention has been held outside of Indianapolis. The Indiana Democratic Party held its 2012 convention in Fort Wayne.
"It's not only a compliment to Allen County Republicans but also to the venue that we have here in Fort Wayne. We are rapidly becoming a leader in venues for conventions across the Midwest, and this is a testament to the fact that Fort Wayne ranks right up there at the top of the list,” said Shine.
Shine says Allen County is the state’s most republican district, and it ranks as 83rd nationwide. He predicts the convention will attract 2,000 people and bring in approximately half a million dollars to the city.
Berry says the convention will be the perfect time to address his main goal, to expand the base of the Republican Party by reaching out to younger and minority voters and showing Republicans can address their main concerns.
"The issues that are affecting people on a daily basis are the pocket book issues. Is there a job? Is there a job for my neighbor? What is the tax burden? What are the services that are being provided by government? That's what we need to continue to focus on to make Indiana truly the state that works,” said Berry.
Berry will remain State Auditor until another is elected around mid-August.
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