Meet The Candidates

 

Thomasina Marsili: US Congress Indiana 8th District

Thomasina Marsili

A lifelong Hoosier from southern Indiana, Thomasina Marsili’s life began in rural Spencer County, where at 16 she not only built trails at the Lincoln National Boyhood Memorial, but also earned a spot in the trail-blazing movie, A League of Their Own. Thomasina saw early success in her two decades managing multi-million-dollar corporations, earning the title of Hotel General Manager by age 20. A graduate of Marian University, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and is a member of Psi Chi and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies. She is an educator, small business owner, nationally registered EMT, certified life coach, and motivational speaker. It is her passion to bring recognition to the inequities within our rural areas and give voice to the voiceless.

Thomasina’s vision for the future as 8th District Representative includes bringing higher-paying jobs to the district through improving access to high-quality education and apprenticeships, diversifying economic development efforts, and securing a living wage. She will improve public education by increasing teacher salaries, expanding education funding to specifically assist low income and rural areas, stop the privatization of public schools, and expanding student loan forgiveness programs for public school educators. She will fight for healthcare for every Hoosier.

Website: https://www.hopein8.com/news
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hopein8/
Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/hope-in-8-1

 

Amy Back: Vanderburgh County Council At-Large Position 2

Amy Back

Amy Back is a lifelong Hoosier. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Political Science, she worked at the Indiana Statehouse, where she was a legislative assistant, working on constituent services, writing policy statements on legislation during sessions, and working directly with State Department liaisons on Indiana Code. Following that she worked for the Association of Indiana Counties, then for three years at the Indiana House of Representatives. Since becoming a resident of Vanderburgh county in 2006, Amy has been involved with ANEW (A Network of Evansville Women), the Legal Aid Society Board, YPN (Young Professionals Alliance), YMCA, St. Joseph School Board and Parish council, and Youth First. She also worked at the University of Evansville and was director of membership at Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce, working with small business owners on a daily basis.

Amy believes it’s time for a fresh and forward-thinking presence on Vanderburgh County Council. She hopes o reframe the conversation around the County’s finances and demonstrate the worth of investment in our children’s future. Working with the Indiana Legislature, small businesses, and non-profit boards gives her the experience to represent the citizens of Vanderburgh County on the Council.

As a mother of four, Amy has a vested interest in the future of our community. She strongly believes that local government investment in mental healthcare and substance abuse prevention will bring a great rate of return and save taxpayer dollars. And more importantly, it’s just the right thing to do. Amy decided to run for County Council because she believes we need better access and greater investment in mental healthcare, and we need to improve economic advancement and government efficiency in the county.

Amy and her husband, Jim, live in the St. Joe area with their children, Maggie, Joseph, Caroline, & Samuel.

Website: https://www.electamyback.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElectAmyBack/

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/committee-to-elect-amy-back-1?fbclid=IwAR2_CdzVpdqb6I68X64w0fo5QyfZkYbDMnn9p-mh_TpAbJqyrNwf-rLklyI

 

Ken McWilliams: Vanderburgh County Recorder

Ken McWilliams

Ken McWilliams is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and graduate of University of Southern Indiana. While attending the University full-time, he was a supervisor in the food service department at St. Mary’s medical Center. Following graduation, Ken worked for the State of Indiana in the Department of Corrections, the Department of Workforce development, and in the Family Social Service Administration. In Evansville City Government, he worked in the Treasurer’s Office, and County Assessor’s office. For the past ten years Ken has been the Practice Manager for this wife, Dr. Jenny McWilliams’, dental practice. As a Marine non-commissioned officer, State and County employee, and supervisor/manager, Ken learned the importance of leadership and service.

As County Recorder, Ken plans to be responsible, visible, and accessible to the taxpayers of our community.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcwilliamsforrecorder/

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mcwilliams-for-vanderburgh-county-recorder-2

 

Sloane Standley: Vanderburgh County Clerk

Sloane Standley

Sloane Standley, a lifelong resident of Vanderburgh County, has filed as a Democratic Party candidate for Vanderburgh County Clerk. She expressed her passion for public service and for broad voting services. “Public service has been a longtime goal, and elective service is a perfect way to serve the public good. Today, perhaps as much as ever before, access to voting is vital to a healthy democracy, and the County Clerk must lead and support wide access which is above reproach,” she said. She also stressed confidence in her strong management and customer service experience.

Standley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from the University of Southern Indiana, and graduated from F.J. Reitz High School. She has experience in sales, operations, and financial management, and has worked for AT&T, FC Tucker Emge Realtors, and Teamsters Local 215 in Evansville. She is bilingual in Spanish/English.

Twice a delegate to the Indiana Democratic Party State Convention, Standley has also volunteered for the Party. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Evansville, where she has pursued her advocacy for eliminating racism and empowering women. She has been a presenter for equal pay for women and chairs a committee on substance abuse. Her community volunteerism has focused on equality and civil liberties. She also is a member of the alumni associations of both University of Southern Indiana and Phi Mu sorority.

Married to Ronnie Beasley for 17 years, she and her husband are the parents of two active children in the North Junior and Senior High Schools.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StandleyforClerk

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/standley-for-clerk-1

 

Ryan Hatfield: State Representative House District 77

Ryan Hatfield

State Representative Ryan Hatfield has served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing his hometown of Evansville, since 2016. He is a member of the Judiciary, Public Health, and Utilities, Energy and Telecommunication committees. Hatfield is a lawyer at Hatfield Law Office, LLC in Evansville and an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College.

Prior to serving in the Indiana General Assembly and joining the law firm, Hatfield was a deputy prosecutor in Vanderburgh County, where he prosecuted homicides, sexual assaults and drug offenses. During his tenure, Hatfield secured one of Indiana’s first convictions alleging Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. As a member of the Vanderburgh County Treatment Court, as well as the Veterans Court, he worked to transition drug-addicted offenders into rehabilitation and back into their community. He also served as an instructor at the Southwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

Hatfield serves as a Commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, an organization that provides states with nonpartisan legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. His legal expertise, competency, professional reputation, and ethical standards have earned him distinctions such as Rue’s Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America®, Top 10% in the USA by Lawyers of Distinction, and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. In 2018, Rep. Hatfield was recognized by Indiana Farm Bureau as an Emerging Leader.

Website: http://www.ryanhatfield.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RyanDHatfield/

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ryanhatfield

 

Ian Gamroth: State Representative House District 64

Ian Gamroth

Ian Gamroth was born and grew up in Columbus, Indiana, in a family of union laborers and social workers. Upon graduation from Columbus North High School in 1999, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, beginning a 15-year career as C-130J Loadmaster, completing 2000 flight hours, accomplishing missions around the globe, and attaining the rank of Technical Sargent. He retired from the USAF in 2014 and enrolled at Indiana University to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. He now calls Princeton home and teaches 5th grade at Princeton Community Intermediate School.

Gamroth’s platform focuses on education issues, state economics, and workers’ rights. He is a proponent of universal Pre-K, and supports fully funding public schools, not only to improve educational outcomes but also to address Indiana’s serious teacher shortage. He believes that the minimum wage in the State must be raised in order to reduce poverty, decrease income inequality, jump-start economic activity and encourage job growth. Gamroth also plans to be a voice for workers’ rights, advocating for the restoration of labor unions, which have a history of obtaining fair wages and safe working conditions through collective bargaining. Since 2018, the 64th House District has lost approximately 600 jobs in the coal industry. To help those displaced workers move to new, permanent jobs, he will be an advocate for transition programs. He believes that Indiana must reclaim a place of leadership for both businesses and working families, so that Indiana is a “state that works” for ALL Hoosiers.

Website: http://iangamroth.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iangamroth64

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/iangamroth

 

Steve Folz: State Representative House District 76

 Steve Folz

Steve Folz grew up on the west side of Evansville, attending St. Agnes Grade School and graduating from F.J. Reitz High School. He has worked in the construction industry for 40 years, currently as an employee/International Representative for Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), working with various construction contractors and companies in Indiana and surrounding states. Steve was raised to value hard work and has lived those ideals, from running jackhammers, helping to build roads, bridges, and buildings, to negotiating contracts with employers so that employees can earn a fair wage with affordable benefits.

Steve wants to bring a problem-solving approach to State politics and believes that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents need to work together to solve problems for our communities and families. He strongly believes that we must bring our democratic form of government back to the people. He’s running for State Representative out of his concern for the lack of well-paying jobs in the region, the declining high school graduation rate, the ever-increasing cost of a college education, and the growing opioid epidemic.

Steve has served on the Vanderburgh Redevelopment Commission, supports Dollars Against Diabetes, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Riley Children’s Hospital. He and his wife, Jackie, have been married 43 years and reside on Evansville’s west side.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sfolzhd76/

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/neighbors-for-steve-folz-1

Email: sfolzhd76@gmail.com

 

Tonda Pauley: State Representative House District 78

Tonda Pauley

Tonda Pauley has served as the State President of the Indiana Democrat African American Caucus (IDAAC) for the past seven years and is a member of the Indiana Democratic Central Committee. She has previously held the position of Vice-President and Secretary of IDAAC.  She has served in the capacity of founding member of the Vanderburgh County Democrat Women’s Club, Secretary of the Evansville Branch NAACP, Vice-President of the League of Women Voters in Evansville, Labor-Management Facilitator, member of the Indiana Federation of Women as well as the 5th Ward Leader and Precinct Committeewoman in Vanderburgh County.

She is a graduate of Leadership Evansville, which prepares the participants to be community role models and servant-leaders. She has worked in many capacities in city and county government and worked on many Democratic candidates’ campaigns.  She previously worked as a Staff Assistant for the late Congressman Frank McCloskey (8th District) who inspired her work in public service. Just last year, Tonda was one of twenty-four women selected to be part of the 2nd class of Indiana leadership program, Hoosier Women Forward.

She is a community activist as well as serving the Vanderburgh Democratic Party in whatever capacity that they need her. She is a member of the Nazarene Baptist Church where she is a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Circle of Faith and a member of the Nazarene Choir.

Tonda’s favorite saying is, “Good leaders must first become good and humble servants.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PauleyIN78/

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/committee-to-elect-tonda-pauley-1

 

Mike Goebel: Vanderburgh County Council At-Large Position 1

Mike Goebel

Mike Goebel is running for re-election as an At-Large member of the Vanderburgh County Council. Mike enjoys serving on the Council and is proud to have remained true to his and his constituents’ values by funding the necessary services Vanderburgh County residents expect while operating with dramatically reduced revenues.

A lifelong resident of Southern Indiana, Mike is a graduate of Mater Dei High School and University of Southern Indiana. He has for many years taught government and history at Mater Dei High School. He has served as Social Studies Department Chairman for 17 years. Mike has also been fortunate to coach IHSAA state championship teams in the sports of football and wrestling.

Taxpayers can be assured that Mike will, as their Councilman, continue to represent them with a fair, no-nonsense approach. He will continue to listen to the concerns of all constituents, providing a strong, stable voice for the residents of Vanderburgh County. His philosophy is that members of the Council, regardless of political party, work together with other elected officials and department heads to secure the most effective and efficient public services for those they serve.

Mike’s priorities as your Councilman include

  • Protecting taxpayers from unnecessary expenses and providing Vanderburgh County residents with a balanced budget.
  • Continuing to work with county officeholders to offset revenue shortages by finding greater efficiencies in the way government operates without sacrificing services.
  • Continued support to develop long-term plans that will promote economic growth, good paying jobs, and business expansion in Vanderburgh County.
  • Provide funding for and maintaining our local roads, streets, and bridges so as to allow safe and efficient travel throughout our community.
  • Continued support for maintaining and improving our educational systems.
  • Continued support and funding for our law enforcement and judicial systems.

Website: http://www.goebelforcouncil.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goebelforcouncil/

Donate: Friends of Mike Goebel PO BOX 6801 Evansville, IN 47719

 

Ben Shoulders: Vanderburgh County Commissioner District 1

Ben Shoulders

Ben Shoulders is a lifelong Vanderburgh County resident with a passion for serving his community. Shoulders was first elected as Vanderburgh County Commissioner (District One) in November of 2016; and currently serves as the president of the Vanderburgh County Commission. A 1996 graduate of Harrison High School, Commissioner Shoulders, 41, received his Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University before returning to his hometown. He earned his Bank Management Certificate in 2010 and is a 2011 graduate of the Indiana Bankers Association Commercial Lending School. Today, he is a Senior Commercial Lender at Banterra Bank, and has spent 17 of the last 19 years working in the banking industry.

Shoulders, a 2011 Leadership Evansville graduate, also has served as a devoted public servant and advocate for Vanderburgh County, serving on numerous committees and non-profit boards. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of The Boys and Girls Club (past President), GAGE (Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville), and Leadership Everyone.

Shoulders also is the local past president of the IU Alumni Association, and previously served on both the Area Plan Commission and served as Treasurer of the Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus Board of Commissioners after being appointed to the board by the Vanderburgh County Council in Jan of 2014.

His service has led to several professional and community volunteer awards such as the City County Observer Community Service Award (2019) and the Harrison High School Hall of Fame (2020). Shoulders is also one of only nine individuals in the region ever to be named a “Top 20 Under 40: Emerging Leader” by both the Evansville Business Journal (September 2011) and News4U Magazine (August 2015).

Commissioner Shoulders lives in Vanderburgh County with his wife of eleven years, Shannon; their 9-year-old daughter, Emma; and 6-year-old twins Sadie and Parker.

Website: http://shouldersforcommissioner.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shouldersforcommissioner/

Donate

 

Ed Bassemier: Vanderburgh County Council At-Large Position 3

Ed Bassemier

Ed Bassemier is a native and longtime resident of Evansville. He grew up learning core values from his parents such as hard work, respect for others, the value of a dollar, and the belief that with hard work and dedication, nothing is impossible – a philosophy he carries with him today. As president and current owner of Bassemier Investments he manages and rents homes to low income families, providing them with affordable housing. He is also employed by the Evansville Vanderburgh Housing Authority as a Special Police Officer providing security for specific buildings/areas under their jurisdiction.

After serving as Vanderburgh county Sheriff, he served for 31 years in the Evansville Fire department, 20 of those a Captain. After retiring as a firefighter Mr. Bassemier took a position at the Evansville Regional Airport as Safety Chief, Safety Coordinator, and Training Director for 12 years. As a prior County Councilman, he served for 20 years, 3 of those as President. He has served as a member of the Community Corrections Advisory Commission, Pigeon Creek Greenway, Education Roundtable, and as the County Council liaison to the Evansville Regional Airport.

Infrastructure projects that Bassemier has supported include Lynch Road and University Parkway. He also supported the African American Museum, Discovery Lodge at Burdette Park, the Ford Center, Old National Bank Events Plaza, Central Library, Convention Hotel, and the Soccer and Softball Complex.

Active in his community, Bassemier is affiliated with the Hadi Shrine, Evansville Firefighters Local 357, International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO-CLC, American Red Cross, and Evansville Labor Temple. He has been a union member for over 50 years and is a long-time member of St. Ben’s Church.

Website: https://www.electbassemier.org/

 

Steve Lockyear: Vanderburgh County Coroner

Steve Lockyear

Steve Lockyear is running for Vanderburgh County Coroner because it is an opportunity to continue to serve the community. The concept of Public Service was an important part of Steve’s upbringing and it was considered an honor to serve the people.

He served more than 24 years with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and is currently Chief Deputy Coroner, a position he has served in for the past seven years.

The Coroner’s office investigates deaths that are suspicious in nature and not from natural causes. Of the more than 2,000 people that die in Vanderburgh County annually, about 350 become cases for the Coroner. The two trauma centers in Evansville draw cases from a 3-state area, and if those victims die here – even if the initial incident took place in another state, and possibly more than 100 miles away – they become cases for the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office. This requires the Coroner and staff, such as Steve as current Chief Deputy, to be familiar with laws of a number of other states besides Indiana. Through his experience over 30 years, Steve has developed relationships with a majority of the law enforcement agencies in the area, has compassionately helped guide bereaved families through the maze of government agencies, and has testified and assisted the prosecution in countless trials.

The Coroner’s Office does not just respond to deaths but is actively involved in prevention. Steve has several public health concerns that he has been involved in actively combating. He is extremely concerned about abuse of prescription medication and heroin, which have become the leading causes of death in this community. Suicide prevention has been an issue he focuses on, and Steve is currently a member of the Suicide Prevention Coalition, a group that provides prevention education and treatment referrals. He has for many years served on the Child Fatality Death Review Board. He continues to be involved in community disaster preparedness. Finally, Steve is involved in preparedness for highly contagious disease outbreaks that could threaten the community.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LockyearforCoroner/