Political Notebook


Young Democrat to vie for House seat

Young professional Thad Gerardot will square off against state Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, for the House District 81 seat in November.

Gerardot was the only person to file for the Democratic caucus to fill the empty ballot slot. That caucus was held Thursday night to make his candidacy official.

Gerardot, 28, works at Lincoln Financial assisting individuals to make informed decisions about their retirement futures.

He was born in Fort Wayne to a large Catholic family. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from IPFW.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the negative impact partisan battles have on our state. But I also know what is possible when we work together,” said Gerardot. “Our differences make us innovative. The best solutions are the ones that are challenged. I do not care as much about the letter next to your name but about results of your ideas. Here in Indiana, those results mean a living wage for all, stronger schools, stronger neighborhoods and a more modern infrastructure to support growing communities.”

He is a first-time candidate for political office but has been active in community organizing in the LGBT community for four years. He also recently finished working for Freedom Indiana, the campaign to prevent a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

“Thad has a history of community and public service. It’s that drive to help people that makes him an excellent candidate for the Indiana House of Representatives,” said state Democratic Party Chairman John Zody. “Rep. Carbaugh and the GOP legislative supermajority have held Indiana back, pushing an out-of-touch agenda that only benefits special interests. Thad’s desire to help solve problems and move Indiana forward will be a tremendous asset in the House.”

Carbaugh defeated veteran Democrat lawmaker Win Moses for the seat in 2012 after it was redrawn by Republicans.

Summer topics

Legislators have set their summer agenda, which includes studying topics from gambling to recreational trails.

The Legislative Council last week approved the summer study committee topics. Every year, lawmakers use these panels to delve into issues deemed to need more analysis.

Here are a few of the topics that will be studied:

•A statewide policy for recreational trails and maintenance

•Risk of chronic wasting disease at high-fenced hunting preserves and deer farms

•Juvenile justice

•Digital privacy

•Student discipline

•Work sharing and unemployment benefits

•Factors contributing to the shift of the local property tax burden

•Various issues involving annexation

•Gambling competition

•Specialty group license plates

•Business personal property tax changes

Coats sidelined

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was sidelined last week to recover from eye surgery performed at an outpatient clinic in Indianapolis.

No details on the previously scheduled procedure were provided. Matt Lahr, communications director for Coats, said Coats could not travel during his recuperation.

Lahr said Tuesday in an email that “it was preventative surgery, he is resting at home and the senator plans to attend Indy 500 festivities this weekend and hold events across the state” this week. The Senate was in session last week but is off this week.

An amendment identical to legislation introduced earlier by Coats was contained in the defense authorization bill approved last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The provision would forbid the use of U.S. tax dollars in contracts or agreements with Russian weapons dealer Rosoboronexport and prohibit contracts with any company that does business with Rosoboronexport.

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