Kim Fidler elected to chair Putnam Democrats
In a special called meeting of Putnam County Democrat precinct committeemen Sunday, Kim Fidler of Greencastle was elected to chair the Putnam County Democratic Party following the resignation of former chairman Adam Cohen.
Cohen decided to step away from the leadership role to focus on other things for the party, mainly candidate recruitment.
Joining Fidler on the new Democrat Central Committee are Bruce Zink as vice chairman, Veronica Pejril as secretary, David Gellman as treasurer and Cohen as past chairman.
"I am so honored to have been elected to serve as chair of the Putnam County Democratic Party," Fidler told the Banner Graphic, "I look forward to working with these extremely talented and motivated Democrats."
The new chairman said her goals for the party are quite simple.
Fidler hopes to elect Democrats to every office possible. That could be a tall order at the county government level, where there presently is not a single Democrat officeholder at the courthouse.
"We are the party of the people," Fidler said. "We truly work to improve the lives of the middle class and for those who need assistance. We strive for equality and we serve all."
Increased visibility of Democrats throughout the county, is also a Fidler goal.
"People do not run as Democrats because it is so difficult to win," she said. "Redistricting reform is essential. We are working to be more visible in the northern and southern parts of Putnam County. We have a wonderful mayor, Bill Dory, in Greencastle. But we need to remember our friends in other parts of the county."
The new chairman said she is excited that so many people have come forward with plans to run. "People are anxious to try new things," Fidler said.
When the party meets again Jan. 30 at the Greencastle Elks Club, she expects Cohen to bring forward a full slate of county candidates for 2018, something that hasn't happened for the Democrats over several county elections.
Even if the candidates don't all win, she said, "it's about democracy. It's about giving people a choice."
"We need to reunite and reinvigorate members of the Putnam County Democratic Party," Fidler said, "by reigniting the passion and drive to win offices to make life better for the people of Putnam County. I am most excited about the social aspect of this goal. I look forward to speaking to, listening to and meeting with people in Putnam County."
A Spanish teacher at South Putnam High School for 16 years, Fidler has served as a UniServ director for the Indiana State Teachers Association for the past 11 years.
She ran a spirited but unsuccessful race for the District 44 seat in the Indiana House of Representatives in 2016, and is expected to announce a second bid for that position once the Jan. 10-Feb. 9 candidate filing period opens.
Fidler doesn't see a dual role as chairman and candidate as a hindrance. In fact, she thinks it can be helpful to the party.
"As a candidate and as chairman you try to be informed of every event, every parade that you can get candidates out in front of, not just the events put on by Democrats who already support us," she said. "We have to get to all parts of the county. It's about creating awareness about local issues."