The Indiana Democratic Party will choose a new state chair on March 20, as current head John Zody steps down after eight years at the helm.
But what, exactly, is the state chair of a political party responsible for?
University of Indianapolis political scientist Laura Wilson said state party chair is a difficult but vital position. Most people experience their influence primarily through elections: state party chairs help identify and recruit candidates. And Wilson said they also direct money.
“You only have so many resources, so where that money goes – even in terms of where the talent, where you’re encouraging people to hire … they’re influential in the organization of campaigns themselves,” Wilson said.
Wilson said becoming the new chair of Indiana Democrats will bring both great pressure and opportunity for a party that is struggling to maintain relevance statewide.
“They need to be able to provide a new focus," Wilson said. "A lot of the messaging that the Democratic candidates have had recently hasn’t been resonating with Hoosier voters … probably also mobilizing people and motivating them.”