Hamilton County Republicans focusing on voter engagement


Hamilton County Republicans are focused this year on voter engagement and communicating their message with newer residents moving into the county from other states.

“Sometimes, the people get tuned out due to the fact that, you know, Hamilton County — Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield — is so great,” Hamilton County GOP Chair Mario Massillamany said. “They forget that Republican leadership led them to top rankings in US News and World Report — best places to live, best place to raise a family, best place to retire.”

He said the county party’s job is to maintain that Republican leadership moving forward.

“We’re the fastest-growing county in the state of Indiana,” Massillamany said. “We’re getting people from California, Chicago, New York — from all areas of the United States moving to Hamilton County because of the amenities — the school systems and even the job opportunities here in Hamilton County. The goal is to try and make sure that people understand their Republican leadership built Hamilton County and that, without Republican leadership, you could easily be like Chicago, San Francisco, even just looking down south of 96th Street in Indianapolis.”

Massillamany said the party’s been successful with that message so far. Even with the influx of new residents, Republicans have maintained their majority on elected bodies, and even increased it.

“When I took over as the county chairman, the Democrats had five offices that they held,” he said. “Now, they only hold two. So, actually, they have lost three offices in the last two years.”

He said Democratic candidates who ran for office were “extreme,” which doesn’t appeal to Hamilton County voters.

“I think Republicans and Hamilton County in general are probably more center, center right, and so, the key is extremes on both sides of the party don’t appeal to people,” he said. “They might appeal to a certain segment, but they don’t appeal to 51 percent, which is what you need to have — 50 plus 1 percent — to win an election. Any individual Republican or Democrat that tries to push their ideas in more of an extreme way, it’s not going to be looked upon favorably in Hamilton County.”

Massillamany said part of the focus this election year will be a continued campaign encouraging Republican voters to vote early.

“You need to change the mentality of Republicans and Hoosiers in general from just going to vote on Election Day,” he said. “Indiana has now become an election month, with absentee ballots and early voting.”

He said the Hamilton County GOP has been nominated for a national, nonpartisan award for its campaign to promote early voting, which led to triple-digit increases in the percent of voters choosing that method.

Massillamany’s family is originally from Sri Lanka. He said they moved to the United States when he was 7 years old, fleeing violence against the Tamil ethnic group. He was drawn to politics and the Republican Party at a young age, he said, and was a page at the Statehouse when he was just 9 years old.

A local attorney, Massillamany became the Hamilton County Republican Party Chair in 2022.

“This was a great opportunity for me to be able to articulate the American dream story that my life had, and then also to try and bring more diversity to our party,” he said, noting that he has reached out to the Sikh temple, Jewish temples and the local mosque.

Note: Current ran a previous interview with the Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair. Visit youarecurrent.com to read that story.