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December 2, 2016

Meeting was called to order at 8am by Mary Martin, Vice-Chair of the Steuben GOP. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by State Senator Sue Glick and the Prayer was given by Steuben County Commissioner Ron Smith. The meeting was held at Timbers Seafood and Steakhouse in Angola who provided a buffet breakfast for the approximately 50 attendees.

Guest speaker for the meeting was Turning Point Executive Director Shannon Hentzell who provided an overview of the accomplishments of the homeless shelter since she took leadership in 2015. Currently they have 15 residents with a capacity of 40 if needed. She outlined items that are needed and thanked the attendees for their support of the needs of the shelter over the past year. She shared the fundraiser that is coming up on December 17th – A Christmas Walk and invited all to attend the event. She also invited guests to drop by the shelter and have a tour when convenient.

Following her presentation, various attendees sharing upcoming events with the group: Bill Bryan talked about the Pokagon Shrine Club and their various activities for the benefit of children in our area. They have their Winter Celebration coming up on January 7, 2017 (click for details) at Glendarin Golf Club. For more information, contact Jeff Stanford at 260-417-0813. Don Shively, also a Shriner, reminded the group that he does a power point presentation regarding the Burn Unit the Shriner’s provide. He is willing to share it with any group free of charge. He can be contacted at: 260-667-7991.

State Senator Glick addressed the group stating she was thrilled at the announcement that Carrier was staying in Indianapolis. The attendees applauded. She feels this is the type of leadership that we can expect to continue as Trump and the GOP keep their campaign promises. Economic development is vital and we must develop program to keep our existing companies, as well as seek new ones. She feels Holcomb will do a great job; he is a product of Mitch Daniels and has already begun his endeavors. The Dept. of Education will be changing and the “draining of the swamp” has begun.

Chairman Rick Michaels mentioned Century Club letters will be going out in early January and thanked everyone for their support during 2016. We cannot rest on our accomplishments as we will need to be aware and start preparations for the next election in two years.

Elected officials brought gift cards, gifts and poinsettias as door prizes and they were given out at the end of the meeting.

Next meeting will be January 7, 2017 at Timbers with the speaker to be announced later. Watch the website and email announcements.

Karen Shelton
Steuben County GOP Central Committee


November 11, 2016

The Steuben County GOP met on Saturday, November 11, 2016 at Timbers Seafood & Steakhouse.   Vice Chairwoman Mary Martin presided.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by guest speaker, 3rd District Congressman-Elect Jim Banks and the Prayer was given by Steuben County Commissioner Ron Smith.  Attendees were treated to a complimentary buffet breakfast in celebration of the GOP sweep in the recent election.

Seirra Bowman, Chairwoman of the GOP headquarters committee, was thanked for her tireless work in getting the headquarters set-up, decorated and coordinating the volunteers who manned the facility prior to the election. She presented the GOP with approximately $1,800 for the sale of Trump/Pence signs and bumper stickers, as well as some donations.

Headquarters volunteers were invited to the breakfast and they were recognized and thanked for their assistance.

Dan Caruso thanked Don Marquardt for providing such an excellent facility and food for the GOP for their meetings.

Martin introduced Congressman-Elect Banks who addressed the group. He shared his deep appreciated to the Steuben County Republicans for their support over the past year during his campaign. He shared some of his thoughts for heading to Washington, DC and assured the group that he will do his very best to represent us well. He stated he would truly miss working with State Senator Sue Glick and State Representative Denny Zent as they have been great mentors and he was grateful for their leadership. He expressed his excitement to be working with President Elect Trump, being the conservative, progressive, pro-life state he comes from. Further, he stated there is was no greater reason to vote for Trump than the pending Supreme Court appointees. Possibly one of the greater reasons for the Trump/Republican success was the vote of 25 million Christians who stepped up to vote this time around. He plans to be on hand to help President Elect Trump and VP-Elect Pence “Drain The Swamp”. His very positive address was sprinkled with applause from the audience of approximately 50.

During the question/answer session, Don Bowman noted that Marlin Stutzman had offered a representative in Steuben County once a month for locals to visit with and he hoped that would continue. Banks indicated that he had no plans to change that tradition.

State Senator Sue Glick was on hand and addressed the group. Holcomb hit the ground running and will do a great job. He has assembled a great group of support; there will be a Senate reorganization and security for Pence. We will see the momentum change at the Statehouse immediately.

State Representative Denny Zent compliments Senator Glick’s comments and added that now we will see the Department of Education make some fast, real progress, which brought applause.

Craig Ralston, Chairman of the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was present, along with Board member, Dan Caruso. Mr. Ralston announced the hiring of the new EDC Executive Director, Isaac Lee and the upcoming presentation being made on behalf of the local EDC for the “Road to A Million” Project. He invited anyone who was interested to join the EDC committee to attend this presentation in Geneva. The EDC will be asking for a grant of $324,000 to finish the Enterprise Center project located south of Angola. There will be a bus traveling from the Enterprise Center to the Geneva location.

County Councilman Jim Getz advised the attendees that their county council members are responsible for appropriating funds for the IPads used for the first time in this year’s election. There were several compliments from those who assisted with the election process.

Meeting adjourned at 9:06am. Next meeting: December 2 @ 8am – speaker TBA.

Karen Shelton, Secretary


May 7, 2016

Approximately 40 GOP supporters attended the May breakfast gathering. Vice Chair Mary Martin welcomed the attendees followed by the Pledge of Allegiance being led by Wendy Zent and the prayer by Ken Shelton.

Following a delicious buffet breakfast, newly elected Republican candidate for Steuben County Treasurer Melissa (Missy) Bixler addressed the group. She expressed her appreciation for the votes she received in the recent primary. Her family got involved in the election process and she enjoyed teaching them about the different phases of the race. She currently works in the Steuben County Clerk’s office and is eager to learn the new responsibilities that she will have as Treasurer.

State Representative Dennis Zent thanked everyone that voted for him in the primary. He announced he is retiring from his dental practice soon and will be able to devote more time to his legislative duties. He emphasized the importance of good, qualified candidates for GOP positions. He continues to work to take care of business at home and to return power to the states. He is currently serving as Vice-Chair of Health Care.

Vice-Chair Martin announced there would not be a Republican Breakfast in June, July or August due to parades being held. She encouraged everyone to get out and support the candidates in the parades. Derrick Aldrich has agreed to be the Parade Coordinator, so please step up and assist him for the parade in your town.

A reminder was given to pick up any signs that are still out and all candidates are to pick their signs up at the headquarters as soon as possible.

Chairman Rick Michael congratulated all the candidates who ran and everyone who got out and voted. He thanked Seirra Bowman and her husband, Don for their work in setting up the headquarters and coordinating the sign-up list for keeping the headquarters staffed prior to the election. He reminded everyone that we need to unite and get behind our candidate in order to defeat Hillary in the fall. The digital sign-up online worked extremely well.

The current Steuben County Treasurer, Lori Stoy was present and was asked to make a few comments. She stated she had been in Steuben County Government for 25 years and has to step down as treasurer due to term limits. She has seen many changes and understands more are to come, as her office seems to be the educator for current events.

Seirra Bowman has agreed to serve as Headquarters Coordinator. The headquarters for the fall election will most likely be opened in September and volunteers will be needed to staff that facility.

Thanks to the Century Club donations and the Lincoln Day Dinner we are profitable and will have funds available to make contributions to local candidates for the fall election.

Seirra Bowman informed the group of research they have done regarding the candidates for Supt of Public Instruction. They learned that Jennifer McCormick’s voting record in the past has been 85% Democrat, while Dawn Wooten has voted 100% Republican. Wooten has also been a strong opponent to Common Core.

In closing, Kim Koomler shared that she worked the polls for the first time this election and felt it was a great experience.


Karen Shelton, Secretary


April 9, 2016

On a very snowy and icy Saturday morning, the Steuben GOP met at Timbers Seafood and Steakhouse. Vice Chair Mary Martin welcomed the very well attended meeting. Commissioner Ron Smith gave the invocation and Chairman Rick Michael led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Following a buffet breakfast local candidates who wished to address the group were invited to do so.

The Treasurer’s position in Steuben County is contested and both of the candidates gave an overview of their background and their qualifications. Uncontested candidates were introduced, as was a representative from the Cruz presidential race, the Pence governor’s race and the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction.

It was announced that Poll Workers are needed currently. Must be 18 years or older and will be compensated $100 for the day’s work. Contact Shelly Herbert at the Clerk’s office.

U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman was in attendance and addressed the group regarding his quest for retiring Senator Dan Coat’s seat in Washington. He stated that this election Indiana will play an important part in the selection of our next president. One of his primary concerns is our debt under the current administration and stated that the interest on our debt is going to pass military spending in 6-7 years and we must put precautions in place to stop spending and reduce debt.

Our scheduled guest speaker, State Senator Jim Banks, was delayed due to the icy roads; however, took the floor upon arrival and shared a 4-point message. He spoke of his Dad, his Afghanistan friend, his three young daughters and the Republican Party. His message was brief and to the point outlining his concerns for our country and its future.

During the Q & A period, a disabled veteran gave an emotional account of her difficulties in receiving needed cancer treatment from the VA; both Banks and Stutzman were to meet with her after the meeting to help with assistance.

It was announced that the temporary headquarters for the GOP will be at 117 W. Maumee and will be open from 10-5 daily and some weekend hours. Volunteers are needed to host the office.

Candidates may put their political signage out 30 days prior to the May 3 election and must be removed the day after the election is held.

Lincoln Day Dinner is coming up – April 20th at Glendarin Golf Club – 6:30 dinner. Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb will be the guest speaker. Reservations are due by Friday, April 15th.

Thanks to all Steuben County Commissioners and County Council members being present; as well as State Senator Sue Glick.

May meeting will be on Saturday, May 7th – speaker to be announced.

Adjourned at 9:30am.

Karen Shelton, Secretary


March 5, 2016

The GOP met on Saturday, March 5th for their regular monthly breakfast meeting at Timbers Steakhouse & Seafood in Angola. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by guest speaker, Kip Tom and the prayer was offered by Dennis Rider. Approximately fifty attended including State Senator Sue Glick and former State Representative Dick Dodge.

After a buffet breakfast was enjoyed, Vice Chair Mary Martin introduced the guest speaker, Kip Tom. Mr. Tom is a candidate for the 3rd District Congressional seat currently held by Marlin Stutzman.

Mr. Tom shared that he is a lifelong farmer and businessman from Kosciusko County. He discussed his younger years of growing up on the family farm and doing chores, being active in 4-H and active in family activities. While his running for office had been discussed, it was a visit from his father who told him that he and his mother felt he should run, that ultimately made his decision. He believes in the “promise of America” and feels that our government has gotten too big and too broken by the current leaders who appear to be more involved in rhetoric than achievement. He was proud of his service on the Economic Development Committee under then Governor Mitch Daniels and firmly believes we must make changes in who we send to Washington, DC. He is pro-life and believes in the Second Amendment and knows we must take better care of our veterans. In closing, he stated a favorite quote, “I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something.” (Helen Keller) He fielded a number of questions from the floor and also remained after the meeting to speak with attendees.

Mary Buell, representing the Pence Campaign, was in attendance and she spoke briefly about her work representing St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaGrange and Steuben Counties. She also had literature to pass out to guests.

Former State Representative Dick Dodge stated that people are frustrated with the current administration with no apparent changes.

State Senator Sue Glick gave an update on the happenings in state government in Indianapolis as they approach the final days of this session. She has been busy working with her fellow legislators as they continue to work on the details of the transportation bill. Some of the governor’s plan has been rolled into their plan. LOHUT is coming back to the cities/towns and several bills that were believed to be “dead” are coming back to life. One example she cited was the “high-powered rifle” bill; it will be statewide in a format being worked out and the DNR will have input. The bill will also be structured for a review in four years. Representative Zent was unable to attend, however, Senator Glick stated the foster parent protection bill has been revised, but is still in the works.

Vice Chair Martin advised the attendees that the Lincoln Day Dinner will be held on Wednesday, April 20th at Glendarin Golf Clubhouse and the keynote speaker will be Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb. Invitations will be forthcoming. Save the date!!!

A reminder the April meeting will be held on the 2nd Saturday – April 9th and the guest speaker will be Senator Jim Banks, candidate for the 3rd District Congressional seat.

Karen Shelton, Secretary


February 6, 2016

The Steuben GOP met on Saturday, February 6 at Timbers Steak & Seafood House in Angola for their monthly breakfast meeting led by Vice Chair Mary Martin. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by guest speaker, State Senator Liz Brown and the Prayer was given by Retired State Representative Dick Dodge. A buffet breakfast was enjoyed by all.

Steuben County Councilman Jim Getz introduced Senator Liz Brown, who is running for the 3rd Congressional District seat vacated by Representative Marlin Stutzman. Brown is a Notre Dame Law School graduate; became a stay at home mom to her seven children. Her public service started with her children’s school activities and carried on to the school board, county council and then to county and state government. She is pro-life and feels strongly about education and repealing Obamacare. She is married to Dr. Steve Brown, a Fort Wayne cardiologist. She feels that being a woman with seven children will qualify her to be a champion for women’s issues, as will her background in the State Senate. All were invited to an upcoming Meet & Greet for Liz Brown to be held at Glendarin Country Club on February 19th from 6-8pm.

Attention was called to visit the new GOP website: as latest information and events will be posted there. We would like you to view and share it with all your friends. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

In attendance were State Senator Sue Glick and State Representative Denny Zent. Both were asked to update attendees on Legislative happenings. Senator Glick notes that there were approximately 400 bills in the House and Senate. 115 House bills are being assigned to committees and 150 in the Senate. Some of the most prominent bills are the Veterans Bills, the Bias Bill – Indiana is a friendly state; we welcome visitors/new residents. The bill deals with “hate crimes” of which 40-50 were identified by the Indiana State Police in 2015. RFRA and LBGT are also hot items they are dealing with. She discussed bridges and roads and stated the state is looking at a “long term fix” rather than the Governor’s short term plan. She also discussed the high power rifle issues and the dangers that she sees with that legislation.

Representative Zent also commented on the weapons bill and road improvement plans. Since we are considered the “Crossroads of America”, we need to have good roads for travel to all who pass through. He estimated it will take $1.5 billion to fix our roads. He discussed the proposed gas tax and stated that a 4-cent increase will cost the average driver approximately $24 per year. Education bills were discussed and he shared that 52% of the budget is allocated to education. Discussions in Indianapolis have mentioned making some of our interstate highways toll roads. Talk went silent when making Interstate 465 around Indianapolis a toll way was mentioned.

Both Glick and Zent were heading to Trine University following the meeting for the Angola Area Chamber of Commerce Forum and all were invited to attend.

Announcements: The Century Club mailing will be sent out the following week. Vice Chair Martin explained that the funds raised from the Century Club will go to support a GOP Headquarters that will be centrally located in or near downtown Angola, as well as to provide additional financial support to our GOP candidates in the coming election.

Anyone who wishes to make their Century Club donation or just a general donation online may now do that through PayPal. We are currently set up on our website to accept credit card payments for GOP events and programs.

The March GOP Breakfast will be held at Timbers on Saturday, March 5 at 8am. Guest speaker scheduled is 3rd District Congressional Candidate Kim Tom.

Karen Shelton, Secretary


January 9, 2016

The monthly meeting of the Steuben GOP was held on Saturday, January 9th at 8am at Timbers Steak & Seafood House in Angola with approximately fifty in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Rick Michael followed by a prayer led by Ken Shelton. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited in unison.

Following a buffet breakfast, the Chairman recognized county and state officials who were present and ask them to give a short update on the activities of their offices. State Representative Dennis Zent stated that the legislature is in their organizational stage for the next session, planning for the State of State presentation and working on House Bills that need to be done by the end of January. Representative Ben Smaltz shared his focus on roads and how to fund them; the meth and drug problem and education. Sheriff Tim Troyer advised the group that the holidays were good thanks to the nice weather; they are seeing an increase in handgun permits. He also encouraged folks to get their lifetime permits. He discussed Firearms Training Classes and stated there will possibly be one in the spring. Space will be limited. Will be posted on his Facebook page. County Council President Rick Shipe discussed road funding; the wheel tax issue which is needed to keep roads manageable.

Chairman Michael noted that all three incumbent council members and two commissioners have filed for reelection. He recognized the council members who were in attendance and thanked them for their service. Also recognized was Marie Warmbier-Smith who is a candidate for Treasurer and Recorder Linda Myers.

All precinct committeemen/women and their vices were reminded of the January 21st meeting to education and update them on the latest GOP information and make plans for the upcoming important election year needs. January 21st at the MSD Administrative Building Conference Room at 6:30pm.

The guest speaker for the meeting was Superior Court Judge William (Bill) Fee. He stated he planned to speak at little about himself; a little about his job and a lot about the Courthouse Renovation Committee Project. He has been in government since 1984 and shared about his deep Steuben County roots. Currently, he is in his sixth term and has no plans to retire in the near future. He stated discussed the needs at the courthouse are many: space, disability access, restrooms, safety, security, as well as a place for jury members to gather. The Court House was built in 1867 and he emphasized that it is “the people’s house” in that some of the most important decisions in people’s lives are made there. He hopes the engage the community in this project and expects that a community forum will be forthcoming.

During the question and answer session a Justice Center possibility was discussed and he stated that he is open to all options at this point in the planning process. Other questions included the drug/meth problem here in our county and how it affects our children and gun control issues. He stated he was in favor of the 2nd amendment and received a hearty applause from the audience.

The February meeting will be held on Saturday, February 6th at 8am. Third Congressional District Candidate Liz Brown will be the guest speaker. Hope to see all of you there.

Karen Shelton, Secretary


November 7, 2015

Steuben Republicans gathered at Timbers Steak & Seafood Restaurant in Angola for their November 2015 breakfast meeting. Approximately 30 people attended the meeting. Vice Chairwoman Mary Martin welcomed the group; newly re-elected Angola City Council member Gary Crum led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a heartfelt invocation by Paul Oakes. Crum was congratulated on his recent election victory!

After enjoying a hearty buffet breakfast, the guest speaker, Steuben County 911 Communications Director Gary LeTourneau gave a very informative overview of the duties and responsibilities of his office. LeTourneau shared that he came to his Steuben County position after spending 19 years as communications director in St. Joseph County, Michigan. He was happy to report that the Steuben Communications Department is now operating at full capacity and he is pleased with the quality of the employees he has on the staff currently.

He reviewed the many responsibilities of the dispatchers and stressed the multitasking that his employees must be able to do while maintaining a calm and mature attitude with the callers they encounter. He stressed the confidentiality that is required by all. He maintains a good relationship with the Sheriff’s Department and other agencies within the county. His staff works 12 hr. shifts which at times can be very heart wrenching and stressful. He also has seven part-time employees who assist during high volume time periods.

During his question and answer session, he was asked about the cost of the new system that is being purchased. LeTourneau stated the cost is $9.4 million dollars and will work off of the seven counties that are already in existence. Further, the new system will allow law enforcement and emergency personnel the ability to communicate with each other in all parts of the county and as they need to cross neighboring county lines. He hopes to have the new system up and running by fall of 2016. Once the initial system is up and running the state will be responsible for upgrades and improvements. Commissioner Ron Smith added that Major Moves funds will be used for some of the cost, as well as bonds that will be issued. New bonds will take over after the current bonds are paid off. Smith also added that new Commissioner Lynne Liechty had done a great job of researching the communications project. LeTourneau stated that this new system is much needed and will greatly enhance the communications and safety of county residents.

Commissioner Smith discussed the County Event Center that is currently being built in the County Park on Crooked Lake. The concrete is poured and some of the walls are being erected. Invited folks to drive out and take a look. He stated that this will be a great addition to our county’s offerings. The current campground has 157 sites @ $2,100 ($329,700). He estimates that with the campground income and the new event center approximately $400,000 to $500,000 in income will come into the county coffers.

Attendees were encouraged to attend Council and Commissioners meetings monthly to hear first-hand what is going on within county government.

Senator Sue Glick took the floor to update the attendees on the happenings in the State Legislature. She reported attending the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce dinner recently. Guest speakers were political strategists Karl Rowe & James Carville, who provided interesting insight into the upcoming election scene. She discussed the Indiana Governor’s race and stated that she believe Governor Pence is going to need a lot of help to defeat Gregg.

Vice Chair Martin shared that currently we have $6,977.86 in our bank account. Plans are getting underway for the 2016 Lincoln Day Dinner as speakers are being sought. The date will be determined by the availability of the guest speaker. We will be seeking a GOP headquarters in the downtown Angola area for the important election year needs.

The December meeting will be held at Timbers on Saturday, December 5th at 8am. Guest speaker will be announced as soon as confirmed. Thanks to all for coming – invite your friends to join us!!!!

Karen Shelton, Secretary


October 3, 2015

Steuben Republicans met on Saturday, October 3rd for their regular monthly meeting at Timbers Steal & Seafood Restaurant. Called to order by Chairman Rick Michael; Ken Shelton gave the invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Dr. Pam Galloway.

A buffet breakfast was enjoyed by attendees followed by the feature presentation by Dr. Pam Galloway, who is a candidate for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Marlin Stutzman.

Dr. Galloway is a former Stateswoman and General Surgeon who currently resides in Warsaw with her husband, who is also a doctor. She came to Indiana in 2012 to be closer to family after being a Senator in Wisconsin since 2010. In her election in Wisconsin, she received 70% of the votes and unseated a 20 year incumbent. She is NRA Certified and is active in the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum. During her address, she stated her three major goals if elected are: 1) dismantle Obamacare; 2) defend the 2nd amendment; and 3) protect life, faith, family and country. She considers herself as a problem solver, a good listener and offers a strong conservative voice.

Time was allotted for Senator Sue Glick and Representative Denny Zent to address the group. Both are in preparation for the upcoming sessions in Indianapolis. Zent discussed the upcoming selection of the House Speaker and both stated that the LGBT situation, Planned Parenthood and immigration will be the major items on their agenda in the coming sessions.

City Council Candidate Dave Martin spoke regarding his race for re-election to the City Council and the importance of the two positions that are being challenged. He noted that the key to winning this election for the council is getting folks out to vote. He stressed the maintaining the Republican balance on the council and that he and Gary Crum must do all they can to retain their seats.

In other business: Rick Rossi addressed the group regarding the Fremont Referendum that is coming up on November 3rd and asked for assistance in getting information out to voters; Wendy Zent shared with the group her sorority’s Angolapoly game that celebrates our community . They are for sale at $25 each.


Remember to VOTE Republican on November 3rd!!!!

Watch the Debate on October 28th!!!!!