Bremen native earns recognition
BREMEN — One Bremen native is receiving accolades and kudos for his accomplishments and involvement in the political world — and he isn’t even running for anything.
Chris Creighton recently finished a class called the Indiana Leadership Forum, which is designed to attract quality individuals from across the state to public service. Creighton graduated from the Forum and was recognized during the organization’s annual luncheon in Indianapolis Aug. 15.
He graduated in 2006 from Bremen High School and in 2011, graduated from IU South Bend. Since then, Creighton has worked on a State Senate campaign in Indianapolis, worked for the Indiana Republican Party and now has managed two State Senate campaigns in Northeast Indiana. Currently he serves as the campaign manager for State Senate President Pro Tem David Long.
Creighton was also recently named the “No. 7” campaign staffer in Indiana (under 25) by Indiana Politics by Hoosier Access, a well-respected conservative political blog in Indiana.
What initially sparked the 24-year-old’s interest in politics?
“Political Science, Econ. and Current Event classes were always where I did best in high school,” he explained. “I especially like my classes with Mr. Olson, Mr. Fox and Mr. Reed at BHS. I never really thought of it as a path for my education to take on until my junior year in college which coincided with the 2008 election. At that point, I felt compelled to be involved.”
He said of all the people that have influenced him, his parents were the pivotal people that led him to be who and where he is today.
“My dad worked his way up the ladder at USA Motors (an RV Company) which used to be in Bremen,” Creighton said. “When that shut down he moved to Dynamax in Elkhart and made his mark there. My mother went back to school when I was in elementary school and got her teaching license, all while raising my brothers, sister and I. They taught me if you work hard and you’re kind, good things will happen.”
Though Creighton had quite a bit of knowledge in the field before entering the Indiana Leadership Forum, he still learned from the experience — from the instruction — but primarily from people he met in the process that taught him more about life.
“I was one of two 24-year-olds among a class of people ranging up to their mid-40s (politically active and not),” he said. “Their life experiences and what led them back to public service taught me a lot about sacrifice. Most of these people have families and careers outside of politics, but they still find ways to contribute.”
While he is still learning and growing and has strong admiration for those he’s met — his being in the community of politicians and the electoral processes has shown him there is always room for improvement.
“I believe that people can have disagreements on important matters and still both have the best interest of people in mind,” Creighton explained. “This (vilifying opponents) happens far too often and as someone with friends on both sides of the aisle, it’s not productive.”
He said another forward-thinking move he has taken part in is making a habit of pushing candidates to get out of their comfort zone. “I believe candidates should make an effort of going door-to-door and having public events,” he said. “I believe the best way of selling your ideas and proving you’re involved for the right reasons, is doing it person-to- person. If you can look someone in the eye and tell them why you want to do something or why you did something, they may not like your politics but they will most likely respect you.”
Does the young leader have plans to run for any office or seat in the near future?
“I would never rule out public service,” Creighton said. “I believe that putting yourself out there and running for office is a great service to your community. I just am not sure it is for me at this given point. That really is something I’ll have to discuss with my (future) family. At this point, I am just happy to be contributing and electing good people to office.”
Currently, the Indiana Leadership Forum is accepting applications for its 2012-2013 class. For more information or to apply, visit www.IndianaLeadershipForum.com online.