Candidates discuss topics at town hall meeting in Fishers


Candidates from the Indiana Democratic and Indiana Libertarian parties partnered for a town hall meeting June 28 at the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers to discuss issues in Indiana politics. The meeting was the 13th in the town hall series across Indiana lead by the Indiana Democrats. Republican candidates were invited but declined the invitation.

The conversation was moderated by independent journalist Larry Lannan. Candidates answered questions from the audience about women’s rights, gun control, the economy and voting rights.

Participants included Democratic U.S. Senate Democrat candidate Tom McDermott; U.S. Senate Libertarian candidate James Sceniak; U.S. House District 5 Democrat candidate Jeannine Lee Lake; Indiana House District 32 Democrat candidate Victoria Garia Wilburn; Indiana Senate District 31 Democrat candidate Jocelyn Vare; and Indiana Secretary of State candidates Destiny Wells, a Democrat, and Libertarian Jeff Maurer.

Candidates from both parties mostly agreed on women’s rights but seemed to differ on gun rights and safety. 

Sceniak, a behavior therapist, said “our politicians should not act as physicians” with regard to the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court.

McDermott, mayor of Hammond, said he plans to be more involved in statewide politics and continue to listen to Hoosiers if elected to the U.S. Senate. He said he believes people of all parties should be able to assemble peaceably and respect each other no matter their political stance.

Lake, a journalist, told a personal story about her own abortion and stated that abortion decisions should not be up to politicians. She said especially in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, military assault-style weapons should be banned and red flag laws should be in place in Indiana.

Wilburn, a teacher, said she hopes to be a voice for minority groups, women and public school children.

Vare, a member of the Fishers City Council, lauded Hamilton County for being one of the best and easiest early voting counties in the state. She wants to bring that mentality to the Senate to make the voting process easier and more accessible. 

Wells, a military intelligence officer, emphasized the importance of democracy. She said Indiana is not a “bright red state,” but rather “a purple state with a voter turnout problem.” 

Maurer said one of his policy concerns is voter registration. He said voters should receive receipts to create a paper trail that can be traced instead of relying on technology.

The Indiana Democratic party held another town hall in Zionsville June 30 and has others scheduled for this summer.