"As of today, there are probably ten individuals who have told me that they will be seeking that position.” Steve Shine, Chairman, Allen County Republican Party
Republican State Representative Phyllis Pond has served District 85 since 1978- A 35 year run in the state legislature when Republicans didn't have to worry about who would carry the GOP banner in her district.
But now, with Pond stepping down in the middle of her eighteenth term, the party is planning a caucus to select her successor.
Today WFFT spoke with Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine.
Just this morning they finalized plans for a caucus to select the person that will lead them into the 2014 election.
And it's paid for by the Indiana Republican Party.
It'll happen here- at the Allen County Republican Party headquarters on Tuesday, October Eighth- a week before long-time State Representative Phyllis Pond retires from the state legislature.
"So she will be someone who will be remembered for the clout that she had, not only because of her longevity, but because of her knowledge of the issues that she brought to the state house,” Shine says.
A sixty-seven delegate caucus, paid for by the state GOP, and hosted by the Allen County Republicans will select the person who will finish Pond's final term.
Big shoes to fill, Shine says, but an opportunity people are fighting for already.
"As of today, there are probably ten individuals who have told me that they will be seeking that position,” Shine says.
And whoever is selected could have a leg up in the upcoming election in 2014.
"The person who is elected in the caucus will then have to run again for election in the May Primary. So, they may have, the person who wins the caucus, may have a slight advantage by going into the primary process as being a quote-unquote 'incumbent,'" Shine says.
And Shine says anyone who doesn't win at the caucus could run again in the primary.
Democrats say they'd like to see that kind of infighting, and hope it could give them a boost next November.
"It definitely made that seat seem a little more reasonable from a win standpoint for Democrats sense. Since Phyllis said she is not running again, and even since she says she's stepping down, I've received numerous phone calls from different individuals who are interested in running for that position,” says Allen County Democratic Party Chairman John Court.
Not so fast- Shine says.
He says after May, it's not going to matter.
"It is a heavily Republican state legislative district. In fact, winning the primary in the Republican primary is tantamount to winning the general election in November in any given year that the office is up for grabs. It is not, by any means, a Democratic district,” Shine says.
If you want to go, the October Eighth caucus is open to the public.
Now, if you live in New Haven, and want to run in the caucus, the deadline to file with the state is October Fifth.
And remember- this isn't taxpayer, your, money paying for this- it comes from party funds in Indianapolis.
Copyright 2013 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.