Republican caucus members will gather at the Ripley County Courthouse Annex Monday to pick a representative for House District 67. (photo by Noelle Maxwell)

By Marilyn Odendahl

The Indiana Citizen

July 17, 2023

Two county council members, one unsuccessful candidate for state representative and a practicing attorney are the four individuals who will vie for the seat formerly held by Rep. Randy Frye at a Republican Party caucus Monday.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Ripley County Courthouse Annex in Versailles. Fifty-four Republican precinct members are eligible to vote in the caucus that will select the person to represent House District 67 through 2024.

Republican Party officials would not release the names of the precinct members. However, they did give a breakdown of the eligible voting members by county: Decatur (3), Jefferson (19), Jennings (20) and Ripley (12).

At the start of the caucus, each candidate will be able to have a colleague or supporter give a two-minute introduction. Then the candidates will have the opportunity to speak directly to the precinct members for three minutes.

After the speeches, the members will vote. The voting will continue until one candidate garners 50% plus 1 of the votes. With each round of voting, the candidate who receives the lowest number of votes will be dropped from the contest.

The four candidates are:

Deanna Burkart of Decatur County is in her second term as a member of the Decatur County Council and has worked with local officials on economic development projects such as the Regional Economic Acceleration Development Initiative (READI) and the Make My Move program, according to The Greensburg Daily News.

Four years ago, she was recognized as the 2019 honoree from the Decatur County Republican Women’s Club, the Daily News reported. Also, in 2023, she was elected to serve as the secretary of the Indiana County Councils Association.

Burkart is a graduate of Indiana University.

Pamela Crozier of Jefferson County is the business development manager at First Financial Bank in Madison and has served on the Jefferson County Council since January 2017, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is also chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party and has served as treasurer on the board of directors for CASA of Jefferson County.

Crozier holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University Southeast.

Lisa Seng Shadday of Jefferson County is an insurance agent in Madison. In 2014, she defeated two opponents in the Republican primary for then House District 66. Shadday, capturing 41% of the vote, lost to former Democrat Rep. Terry Goodin in the November general election.

J. Alex Zimmerman of Jennings County is an attorney practicing in North Vernon since November 2020. According to his biography on his law firm website, he served for nearly six years in the Statehouse before entering private practice. He worked for the Republican majority in the Senate in a variety of roles including majority legal associate and deputy majority attorney.

He is a 2020 graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis and a 2015 graduate of Franklin College.

Frye resigned from his House seat July 8, citing declining health as his reason for stepping down. He was first elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2010 and served as chair of the House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee.

 House District 67 covers Jennings, Jefferson and Ripley counties and extends into southern Decatur County to the towns of Millhousen and Westport.

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