Indiana Democrats were already looking to November as the May primary results rolled in Tuesday night.
Dozens gathered to share food, laughs and celebration at the IBEW Local 481 for the Marion County Democratic Party Watch Party.
“This event is to celebrate the victories of the endorsed candidates and to set our sights on the fall,” said Joel Miller, chairman of the Marion County Democratic Party.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Indiana primary, but U.S. Rep. André Carson, (D-Indiana), used the event Tuesday to encourage Hoosiers to continue their political commitment outside of the presidential election.
“It’s important to note that many of us and many of you are ‘Feeling the Bern’ and some of us and some of you are ‘Walking Up the Hill.’ So whatever you do and whoever you may support, understand that the next commander-in-chief represents our great democracy,” said Carson, who defended his seat and won his primary Tuesday.
A focus of the gathering was to showcase what’s next for Indiana Democrats. Dana Black, who’s challenging Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma for his District 88 seat, discussed her goals for the future.
“I would love to be the voice for the voiceless and fight for those that can’t fight,” said Black. “There are a lot of Hoosiers that are not being represented in our current state and their voices are being silenced because we have a super majority.”
She believes that while others’ opinions may differ from her own, the people of Indiana need to come together to further the state’s growth.
“You don’t have to agree with me about my social stance, but what you can agree with me on is that we have to move Indiana forward,” said Black. “We cannot concede and let our infrastructure fall apart. We have to educate our kids; we have to give them the tools that they need to be successful in a global economy.”
Now Democratic leaders hope to see the ideas of their candidates put into action by winning elections in the fall. In order to accomplish that goal, they must continue campaigning today.
“[Political] engagement must be ongoing and it has to extend to off-year elections,” Carson said. “It’s not about running for office to be called representative, senator, congressman, mayor or county commissioner. It’s about being in an elected office understanding that you have a responsibility to represent the interest of the people.”