Court to Lead Allen Co. Democrats

By Max Resnik

March 26, 2012 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Members of the Allen County Democratic Party elected their new chair at a meeting Monday night.

John Court, an insurance salesman originally from South Bend, Indiana, is the new leader of the Allen County Democratic Party and has been in the Fort Wayne area for five years. Court defeated Rev. Michael Latham in a landslide victory, 74-1, at the Allen County Democratic Party headquarters.

Court, who worked on campaigns in St. Joseph County and in other cities around the Hoosier State, says he hopes to bring fresh, outside views to how Democrats can be more successful in Allen County.

Part of that approach will be utilizing what he termed as his “And 1” policy. Court says each member of the Allen County Democratic Party should be responsible for bringing one additional person to each meeting, making one extra phone call when getting the word out on issues that concern voters within the party and knocking on one extra door each time they canvass the Allen County area. During his speech to the Allen County Democrats, Court said, “I guarantee you this: We’re going to work. They’re [Republicans] going to out-spend us, but they’re not going to out-work us.”

Despite the fact that Democrats are outnumbered 6-3 on Fort Wayne’s City Council and do not have a seat on Allen County Council, Court says the party is in overall good shape.

“When you take a look, we’ve got 13 years of Democratic mayors. Take a look in the past and see how strong Obama ran here in the last presidential election. Take a look at how Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon have traditionally run here. I think it’s there, and it’s just a matter of turning out the base and educating the voters.”

Deb Morrone, Vice Chair of the Allen County Democratic Party, says Court’s outside experience should excite members of the party.

“He’s a dynamic, young guy who’s been here a few years. He was very active in St. Joe County politics in the Democratic Party. We’re real excited to have him.”

Like Court, Morrone says voter turnout among the Democrats is perhaps the biggest issue facing the party in Allen County. She says Court can grow their base.

“Certainly we need to grow our base here in Allen County, and John is an excellent way to start that. The party has to be vital to attract good candidates. We’re fortunate this year. There’s a lot of unrest with the seated candidates. We’ve got a lot of good candidates, but we need to continue that momentum.”

Court says politics become easy when voters understand who their potential representatives might be and what the most important issues are. He says he will begin by getting in touch with the members of his party.

“This is a simple business. You got to touch people, talk to people and let them know who you are and where you stand on the issues.”

Court has been serving on the 2012 Democratic Convention Committee, which is being hosted in Fort Wayne.

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