INDems Celebrate Successful “Small Town, Indiana” Tour, Visit 55 Counties in Four Statewide Tours This Year


Democrats held 55 in-person conversations about record of fighting COVID-19, creating good-paying jobs, and delivering transformational investments to Indiana’s infrastructure

INDems to continue 92-county, full-court press for 2022 state and midterm elections

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated the end of the successful “Small Town, Indiana” statewide tour. The fourth tour for the INDems this year focused on the state’s rural communities and included in-person conversations with voters about how Democrats – not Republicans – are delivering for them on issues like public education and the state’s ag community. This included how Democrats were delivering for rural Hoosiers on issues like broadband internet, public school funding, repairs to roads and bridges, childcare access, clean and safe drinking water, and pay raises for educators. 

The “Small Town, Indiana” swing concluded a tour season where Democrats crisscrossed Indiana to share with Hoosiers about how they have delivered a better future for the state they call home and for the families they love. Between the American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan, redistricting, and “Small Town” tours, Democrats have held more than 55 county events in rural, suburban, and urban parts of the state. This full-court press will continue in 2022 where Democrats are eager to share with Hoosiers how President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda – that includes the Rescue Plan and the Jobs Act – and INDems’ focus on issues like public education and cannabis legalization will deliver a brighter tomorrow for the Hoosier State. 

Indiana Democrats’ collective work over Summer and Fall 2021

“At the start of my term as chairman, I made a promise to Indiana Democrats — and all Hoosier voters — that we would start showing up everywhere to listen to folks, tell how common sense and popular policies can create a better future for our state, and push back against partisan extremism. We’ve also been sharing how Democrats are delivering for people. Congressmen André Carson and Frank Mrvan have led on transformative measures like the American Rescue Plan and The Jobs Act while statehouse Democrats have delivered on issues like broadband, the state’s READI program, pay raises for teachers, and fully-funded schools. Indiana Democrats got to work in 2021, and INDems will crisscross the state in 2022 to make sure every Hoosier knows of this brighter tomorrow for families in all 92 counties,” said Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. 

“Bipartisanship has been the goal of President Joe Biden and Hoosier Democrats, but while things are getting done, not one Indiana Republican supports these once-in-a-generation investments for our families,” added Schmuhl. “Instead, Hoosiers saw Republicans like Todd Young, Victoria Spartz, and Jackie Walorski vote “NO” and describe bread and butter issues they’ve campaigned on for years – like broadband internet and infrastructure – as ‘socialism’. These Republicans have become too extreme and too partisan for Indiana, and throughout the 2022 campaign, Democrats will make sure voters know Republicans abandoned them when it mattered most.” 

Indiana Democrats have delivered for Hoosier families while the Indiana Republican Party has tried to deny families a better future. From the start of the Biden Administration, elected officials like Todd Young, Victoria Spartz, and Jackie Walorski have all said “NO” to the American Rescue Plan and The Jobs Act, two once-in-a-generation laws that fought the COVID-19 pandemic, fully-funded Indiana’s public schools, and delivered infrastructure investments in broadband, roads and bridges, and clean water – despite campaigning on those very issues. Instead, Republicans have now described these investments as “socialism”. The INGOP continues to prove their partisanship is too extreme for Indiana.

Here’s a look at the impact of the Indiana Democrats’ “Small Town, Indiana” tour:

NWI Times: Hoosier Democrats reaching out to small town voters on statewide tour

IndyStar: Indiana Democrats are campaigning in rural, Republican areas. Will it pay off?

“Under new leadership, the state party has used thisnon-election year to tour the state, targeting rural areas where Democrats have been brutally beaten in recent elections. It’s a unique move and a departure from recent conventional wisdom that Democrats’ best shot of making headway in Indiana is to fortify their urban bases and flip voters in suburban areas such as Fishers and Carmel.

Of the almost 60 tour stops Democrats will have made by the end of November, more than half are in counties Trump won by at least 30% and half have populations under 70,000. Typically parties and candidates focus on areas they have more support in instead, which in Indiana would considerably narrow the number of counties the Democrats might visit.

Experts say the strategy could succeed long term by playing off some Republicans’ discomfort with their party’s direction. That would give Democrats some badly needed wins in a state where no Democrat has been elected statewide since 2012 and Republicans have supermajorities in both statehouse chambers.”

Connersville News Examiner: Infrastructure bill town hall held in Connersville

Eagle Country Online: INDems’ To Launch “Small Town, Indiana” Statewide Press Tour In Greendale

Ink Free News: State Democrats To Continue ‘Small Town, Indiana’ Tour In Columbia City

Times of Noblesville: INDems’ “Small Town, Indiana” Statewide Press Tour to continue in Cicero and North Vernon

Bedford Times-Mail: Indiana Democrats discuss rural challenges in education, broadband access and more


LaGrange News Sun: Small Town tour lands in LaGrange

…the Democratic Party is developing on its promises to help people living in rural communities by putting more money into public education and help deliver broadband services to underserved areas of the state. […]

…They were joined at the head table by Lakeland High School science teacher Sherry Severson, who spoke to the crowd of about 40 about recent moves to raise the salaries of teachers and improve the budgets of local school districts thanks to an infusion of federal dollars into the state because of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. 

Severson said teachers across the state felt valued until 2010 when then Governor Mitch Daniels and the state legislature opted to put what she called “a freeze on public education. In the years that followed that freeze, Severson said public schools, which educated more than 90 percent of Indiana’s children saw hundreds of millions of dollars typically used to help fund public education programs and schools diverted to the state’s private school voucher program…

Severson said because of the ARP dollars pumped into state budgets, teachers saw a significant salary increase. […]

Long Thompson said she believes the county is at a crossroads right now and federal programs like the American Rescue Plan have already played an important role in bringing new investment in rural America.

“To be our strongest, we have to invest in both in our people, and our infrastructure,” she said. “We have the large economy in the world and the most productive workforce in the world. And rural communities are essential to our economic and social wellbeing.”

Long Thompson added that the work being done in rural communities across the county affects nearly everyone in the county. […]

“We’re going to be spending $250 million in broadband in rural communities. In order to survive as farmers, the need for broadband is essential,” [Shelli Yoder] said. “That investment is going to help our farmers and members of the Ag community survive.”

Yoder said touted the program’s planned investment in the food system, saying too many communities are locked in a food desert, with residents living with limited access to fresh foods.

“We’re the backbone of the Ag community, and yet we struggle to access to affordable fresh food,” she explained. “In Indiana, 80 percent of those who live in poverty are in rural communities. And so that access to food is vital.” […]

Hamilton County Reporter: INDems, former State Supt. Jennifer McCormick stop in Cicero for “Small Town, Indiana” tour

Indianapolis Business Journal: Indiana Democrats hope to regain voters on small towns tour

The statewide Small Town Indiana tour is the fourth for the Democrats this year, following trips around the state earlier in the year to promote the American Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan, and a tour to talk about Indiana redistricting. […]

Schmuhl was at the North Vernon stop, where he said 75 people, mostly Democrats, attended. But he said the issues the Democrats are talking about on this tour are “bread and butter” issues everyone cares about, such as child care, education, public safety, broadband and agriculture.

They are touting funding that came from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, including securing $250 million in broadband internet expansion, providing $540 million for childcare service providers, and fully-funding the state’s public school systems.


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