Three candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for the newly created Indiana House District 41 seat in the May 3 primary. Candidates Shane Weist, Richard Bagsby and Mark Genda recently answered the following questions for Current:
Name: Shane Weist
Education: Bachelor’s degree in history/political science at Purdue University
Occupation: Sales manager at Tempest Homes
City of residence: Lafayette
Immediate family: Three Children (Logan, Hope, Ella)
Previous political experience: I was the Fairfield Township Board President for five years and was a previous candidate for city-county council.
Why do you want to run for office?: It is important for the future of my children and all children that Indiana elects responsible conservative leaders to lead our state forward. I believe I can be that person due to the knowledge and insight I have gathered through different aspects of my life.
What are your qualifications for this office?: I have served on over 20 nonprofit boards/committees, I spent five years overseeing a budget for a township of 52,000 residents and I previously managed two companies with over 100 employees. I know how to stay focused, work hard and make progress.
What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?: Instead of naming three specific issues I am giving my pledge to fight for any issue that protects the liberties and rights of the people! I am pro-life, pro-gun and pro-medical freedom. I stand for fiscal responsibility and limited government which leads to free enterprise and strong economic development in our communities!
What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?: I believe my past experience in office, nonprofit work and business makes me a well-rounded candidate that gives me valuable insight on issues from multiple angles. I have spent my life serving people and I know what it takes to be a strong effective leader.
How long have you lived in your district?: I have lived in my district for 34 of my 41 years. I grew up in and then moved back to the district three years ago. I have been a resident Tippecanoe County my entire life.
What other organizations are you involved with?: I have been involved in and served for numerous organizations throughout my lifetime. Currently, though, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Builders Association, the Builders Association of Greater Lafayette, and the Franciscan Health Foundation. Most of my past experience has been serving with organizations that fill the needs of those less fortunate in our community.
Something most people don’t know about you?: In 2014, I was named Indiana “Township Board Member of the Year” due to my work on restoring a historic cemetery within my township. With the help of volunteers I cleaned/repaired over 500 headstones and created an annual event that raised over $50,000 toward the restoration effort.
Something you want people to know about you?: I believe that being a servant leader in office is more about listening than talking. I will be a leader who keeps an open door and mind for my constituents and will do my best to serve their needs. I am a strong conservative Christian and I will never sway from my values.
Website or best way for voters to reach you?: Voters are welcome to visit my website at www.weistforindiana.com, or reach me by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Richard Bagsby
Education: Associates of Applied Science, Superintendent Diploma, Carpenters Apprenticeship Program Certificate, Journeyman Carpenter
Occupation: Construction management superintendent
City of residence: Lafayette, IN
Immediate family: My wife and I have 8 children, and two grandchildren.
Previous political experience: None
Why do you want to run for office?: To help stop the excessive government overreach and blatant violations of our individual rights and liberties.
What are your qualifications for this office?: I am an ordinary citizen, who is very concerned about the future of the district and the future of my children. I am a blue-collar worker, a father, and a grandfather. I truly believe that I can represent the interests of the people in my district at the Statehouse. Only the people who are affected by the issues can truly find solutions to the issues.
What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?:
1. Protecting the unborn at conception
2. Protecting Indiana’s gun rights found in Article 1 section 32.
3. Supporting legislation that would ban pornographic books, critical race theory, social equity
learning and the 1619 project from our schools.
What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?: I am not an insider nor am I above the stature of the common person. I am a concerned citizen, and a concerned parent. I am your average blue-collar worker and not a “yes man” career politician who is out of touch with the everyday citizen.
How long have you lived in your district?: Eight years
What other organizations are you involved with?: Tippecanoe County Republican Party; A minister at Whole Truth Apostolic Faith Assembly, Lafayette Citizens in Action, J.U.D.A.H Outreach Ministry.
Something most people don’t know about you?: I was in FFA and showed Hereford beef cattle.
Something you want people to know about you?: If you’re looking for someone who will champion your individual rights and liberty without compromise then vote for Richard Bagsby, but if you’re looking to elect a cookie cutter politician who wants to please everyone and says all the right things, I may not be your guy.
Website or best way for voters to reach you?: voterichardbagsby.org, facebook.com/richardbagsbyforindiana
Name: Mark J. Genda
Education: Worsham College of Mortuary Science
Occupation: I’ve been a licensed funeral director for 38 years, a business owner for 30 years and have rented out properties for 25 years.
City of residence: Frankfort
Immediate family: I have two sisters, Becky Pedigo and Candy Genda.
Previous political experience: I served two terms on the Frankton School Board.
Why do you want to run for office?: I want to run so I can serve the people of District 41 without prejudice.
What are your qualifications for this office?: I am people-forward and have business experience which I believe will help me do this job well.
What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?:
- We need to focus on workforce development. Since the pandemic, businesses are struggling to find workers and that is something we need to prioritize. It doesn’t just affect the businesses, but us as consumers as well.
- After talking with several people in the medical field, it is apparent that there is a nursing crisis. COVID-19 put a huge strain on our medical field and caused an exodus from many nurses. The ones who remained have been swamped with work. We need to consider tackling this problem legislatively.
- Local matters, such as windmills, agriculture and housing developments should not be decided at the state level, but locally. I want to keep local matter under the jurisdiction of local government.
What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?: I have the life experience necessary to do the job right and am self-funded.
How long have you lived in your district?: My entire life apart from 6 years.
What other organizations are you involved with?: I am a member of the Lions Club, Moose Lodge, Masonic Lodge, Sons of American Legion and St. Matthews U.M.C., all in Frankfort.
Something most people don’t know about you?: I am an avid hunter.
Something you want people to know about you?: I have no hidden agenda. My goal is simply to work for, listen to and serve the people of District 41.
Website or best way for voters to reach you?: Phone number 765-242-1142 or email email@example.com.