Two candidates face incumbent Nancy Dembowski for State Representative (D-17) in next Tuesday’s Election: Francis Ellert and Richard Liedtky.
House District 17 includes Starke County as well as portions of Marshall and LaPorte Counties. Communities located within the district include: Culver, Kingsford Heights, Knox, North Judson and Plymouth.
With a background in local government, incumbent Indiana House Representative Nancy Dembowski is seeking to return to Indianapolis.
Dembowski was a member of the Starke County Council for seven years, Mayor of Knox for 11 years and a two-year member of the Indiana Senate. She is seeking her third term in the Indiana House as a member of the Democratic party.
“I am proudest of my service to the City of Knox and the accomplishments we made there which included winning the Excellence Award from the Indiana Cities and Towns Association on two different occasions,” she said.
Retired from WKVI Radio and mother of three grown children and eight grandchildren, she is widowed and was married to Ed Dembowski, a steelworker for 43 years.
“The top priority of the Indiana General Assembly in 2011 must be to put Hoosiers back to work,” she said. “House Democrats will propose a new employee tax credit to employers who hire workers from unemployment. A small business loan program with low interest loans will be proposed as well. We can better attract good businesses to our state with a stable tax structure, good regulatory practices and quality education to provide an educated workforce. Education must be high on our list of priorities.
“We must rebuild Hoosiers’ trust in Indiana government from top to bottom...Hoosiers want their officials to work together to give them a better quality of life...Indiana working families deserve no less.
“The Healthy Indiana Plan was established several years ago and funded by an increase in the cigarette tax which provides insurance for low income adults and families. Governor Daniels recently closed the enrollment in this innovative program in reaction to the national Health Care legislation, however, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration recently said that the HIP will provide the natural vehicle to provide coverage to Hoosiers that will become Medicaid eligible. I believe we should expand that great program.”
Plymouth Coca-Cola distribution plant manager, Francis Ellert, won his party’s primary campaign and takes his place as a first time candidate for office, running as a Republican for State Representative, District 17.
“My priorities are job creation, economic development and making House District 17 a better place to live, work and raise a family,” declared Ellert. “For a long time, my family and I discussed the possibility of running. We came to the conclusion that our community was sorely lacking in representation at the State House. That is why I am running for State Representative.”
Dennis Beville, Ellert Campaign Treasurer, stated, “Francis Ellert is the best candidate I have seen step forward for our community in a long time. His work in the community and business experience will bring the kind of leadership we need at the State House.”
Ellert, married 16 years, is the father of four children. In addition to his work at Coca-Cola, Ellert is a member of a number of community organizations including the United Way of Marshall County, Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Ancilla College Board of Trustees, Culver Chamber of Commerce, Marshall-Starke Develop-ment Center, Plymouth Rotary Club and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees.
Richard Liedtky is the Libertarian candidate for State Representative from District 17.
He is a 1976 graduate of North Judson-San Pierre High School and a 10-year resident of Plymouth. He is employed by Evangel Press, a Christian Printing Company in Nappanee.
He has been an IHSAA certified basketball official and umpire for the past 20 years, coached little league in North Judson, Knox and North Liberty and is currently the president of the John Glenn Football Boosters. He attends Crossroads Church in Plymouth and North Liberty Church of Christ.
“I am running to give citizens a third choice,” he said. “Both parties blame each other but the reality is that both parties are equally at fault for the problems in America and Indiana. I bring a new approach because I won’t be tied to vote for a certain party but rather the people.”
Liedtky says that, “…jobs are needed badly as many are still unemployed. We have two rivers that need dredging at least five to six feet. This will benefit all communities as well as the multi-billion agribusiness.
“Plymouth’s Industrial Park is growing but we need to utilize the infrastructure that has been laid in Hamlet for a park…We must look at our schools. Our future is loaded down with debt and yet education is cut. When politicians vote to cut school funding but vote to give themselves a pay raise, something is wrong.
“We must all be wary of Governor Daniels Local Government Reform Bill. This will eliminate all township trustees, advisory boards and volunteer fire departments. A central County Director will be named and small communities will slowly lose their identity. All fire departments will be forced to be paid and all police and emergency personnel will be dispatched from the County Director’s office. Taxes will be raised to pay for this.
“I believe that many will cast split votes in the election for the first time in many years. A vote for a Libertarian is a vote for restoring the people’s voice and right to run the government.”