New county Democratic Party chair optimistic about ’24 elections and beyond


The new chair for Hamilton County’s Democratic Party is optimistic about the political future for local Democrats, with more people from a variety of backgrounds moving into the traditionally Republican county.

Jocelyn Vare, who served one term on the Fishers City Council, was elected in February to a 13-month term to lead the county’s Democratic Party. She is finishing out the term of previous chair Dayna Colbert, who left to become the new executive director of the Indiana Democratic Party.

Jocelyn Vare

Vare recently took time to sit down at her Fishers-based business, Propeller Marketing, to talk about why she wanted to take the reins of the local Democratic Party and her goals for the rest of the year.

“We know that elected officials don’t stay elected officials forever,” said Vare, who narrowly lost her bid for reelection to the council in November. “I wanted to figure out how to best present and contribute my experiences and … the knowledge I had gained over the years being a candidate and being an elected official.”

Vare said the Democratic voting base in Hamilton County is growing and motivated. She said she wanted to be a part of it, and to help Democrats get elected up and down the ballot, especially for this big election year.

“(It’s) the presidential election and very, very important local elections on our ballot, and school board for every community in Hamilton County,” she said, “So, this is very important. Our election is in November, so I only have just a few months to get rolling, but I’m hitting the ground running.”

Vare said her No. 1 goal, of course, is to get Democrats elected.

“Overall, though, thinking big is also growing our local Democratic Party and elevating our Democratic Party profile,” she said. “I really want to strengthen our Democratic voters. What that means to me is making sure Democratic voters are voting every chance they get in every primary as a Democrat.”

In Indiana, voters choose their party affiliation through the primary ballot that they pick, rather than declaring a party when registering to vote. Vare noted that during the 2023 primary, 47 percent of Fishers voters chose the Democratic ballot.

“To me, that was a very important data point,” she said. “One (reason) is to prove that we’re inching closer to a balance — like, whoo! How much closer can you get? We’ve got many, many Democratic voters. And collectively, if we all come out and vote every chance we get, we can make a difference and elect Democratic candidates.”

That said, Vare encourages everyone who can vote to participate in every election, regardless of party affiliation.

To participate in the upcoming May 7 primary, voters must be registered by April 8. Early in-person voting begins April 9.

Note: Current has reached out to the Hamilton County Republican Party for a story about its goals this election year.