Republican Party members will meet next month to select new leaders for Bartholomew County and Indiana’s 6th Congressional District as part of reorganization efforts scheduled every four years.
The position of chairman for both party organizations became open with the Jan. 27 death from cancer of Columbus resident Ted Ogle.
The longtime Republican leader in Bartholomew County had served 16 years on the Columbus City Council and more than 10 years as the party’s county chairman. He was credited for establishing the party as a dominant force in local politics.
“Ted was really important to the Republican Party here. He gave it his all,” said Mary Shaffer, who was named the Bartholomew County Republican Party’s acting chairwoman.
Shaffer, a nurse adviser at Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus, had served as the county’s vice chairwoman. Other current leaders are DeWayne Hines, secretary; and Bill Lentz, treasurer.
Although the state party’s requirement is to fill an opening in party leadership within 30 days, the state advised the county’s Republican Party to wait a few extra days until the statewide reorganization meetings March 2, Shaffer said.
County Republicans will meet to elect a new chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer, Shaffer said. Current party leaders will gather within the next week to decide on the time and location.
Pete Seat, communications director for the Indiana Republican Party, said Susie Lightie, vice chairwoman for the 6th Congressional District, is serving as acting chairwoman.
The 6th District and other congressional districts in Indiana will have reorganization meetings March 9 to elect new leaders.