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Progressive Democrats of LaPorte County
Debrief and Strategic Plan Meeting
November 28, 2022


Voter Turnout Compared to Previous Elections - LaPorte County only


2022 (Midterm) 


32,554 Voted out of 79,451 Registered Voters = 41%

22,154 Voted on Election Day - 10,400 were Absentee/Early Voters

Dem Straight Party - 5,638 vs. Rep Straight Party - 8,332


2020 (Presidential Year)


49,945 Voted out of 79,763 = 63%

23,883 Voted on Election Day – 26,062 Absentee/Early Voters

Dem Straight Party - 6,666 vs. Rep Straight Party - 10,792


2018 (Midterm)


37,790 Voted out of 77,118 = 49%

27,722 Voted on Election Day - 10,068 were Absentee/Early Votes

Dem Straight Party - 7,683 vs. Rep Straight Party - 7,044


2016 (Presidential Year)


46,369 Voted out of 83,837 = 55%

34,676 Voted on Election Day - 11,693 Absentee/Early Voters

Dem Straight Party - 5,860 vs. Rep Straight Party - 4,470


2014 (Midterm)


25,110 Voted out of 80,478 = 31%

21,609 Voted on Election Day - 3,501 Absentee/Early Voters

Dem Straight Party - 2,728 vs. Rep Straight Party - 2,350


Election Results – LaPorte County only


McDermott (US Senate) - 13,920 (43.6%) vs. Young - 17,279 (54.1%)

Mrvan (US Congress – District 1) - 10,726 (49%) vs. Green - 11,168(51%)

Steury (US Congress – District 2) - 3,220 (32.6%) vs Yakym - 6,279 (63.6)

Wells (Secretary of State) - 13,833 (43.6%) vs Morales - 16,486 (52%) Note: Maurer - 1,405 (4% Lib.)

Brooks (State Auditor) - 12,943 (40.8%) vs Klutz - 17,473 (55%) Note: Schick - 1,293 (4%)

McClellan (State Treasurer) - 13,965 (44%) vs Elliot - 17,667 (55.9%)

Pol (State Senate) - 6,527 (55.7%) vs Larson - 5,189 (44.3%)

Boy (State House) - 7,676 (58.2%) vs Bergeron - 5,513 (41.8%) 

Lake (Prosecutor) - 15,425 (48.5%) vs Fagan - 16,350 (51.5%)

Andy Hynek (Sheriff) - 14,759 (46%) vs Heeg - 17,330 (54%)

Schultz (Assessor) - 16,773 (52.6%) vs 15,121 Matwyshyn (47.4%)

Brent Banic (Michigan Township Assessor) – 4,508 (100%)

Matias (Commissioner) - 13,929 (43.9%) vs Gramarossa - 17,867 (56.2%)

Washington (Michigan Township Trustee) – 3,738 (56%) vs Granquist – 2,935 (44%)

Sosinski (Coolspring Township Trustee) – 2,433 (55%) vs Espar-Haddad – 2,016 (45%)

Ed Hynek (Galena Township Trustee) – 528 (100%)


Recap of 2022 PDLC Election Strategies


  • Voter Registration at Pride Fest: PDLC business cards with voter reg info, and “Vote with Pride” stickers.  Thanks to Dalia & Vida!

  • County Dems Slate Cards: Distributed at events and canvassing.

  • Voter Info Cards: Distributed at various retail, service sites and via canvassing.

  • Meet the Candidate Events: Long Beach, Rolling Prairie, Fair Grounds, HOPE Center

  • House Parties: Hoped for 20, but zero happened. 

  • Zoom Candidate Forums: Hosted 6 Forums livestreamed & shared on Social Media/Email/website/YouTube.

  • Canvassed all MC Pcts, targeted neighborhoods for GOTV (Low voter-turnout, Strong Dem). 

  • Participating in parades and community events with Candidate T-Shirts.

  • Tabling at Dem HQ during the county fair.

  • Passing out voting info cards at MC churches.

  • Placing candidate lit on cars during church in MC.

Read more


            Dem Party –

  1. Create a Resource book of community services that can be distributed via PCs and party members. This would allow PCs to be known as community helpers.

  2. Host fundraising events throughout the year.

  3. Have regular monthly Dem meetups at a restaurant.

  4. Stop requiring candidates to pay 3% of the salary for the elected position to the party.

  5. Coordinate House Parties year-round featuring elected Dems to engage new Dems.

  6. Be more visible in the community by initiating/participating in community events/projects, food drives, rallies, community clean-ups, etc. This will attract more young people to participate

  7. Partner with other orgs to utilize the Dem HQ at the Fairgrounds more often.

  8. Appointed PCs must live in the Pct.

  9. PCs need to be more adequately trained, provided with voter lists/access to VAN.

  10. PC’s who do not want to be active year-round should be asked to step aside.

  11. Dems should have a year-round physical Head Quarters in MC.

  12. Develop better Rapid Response (messaging AND delivery) to Republican attack ads. How will we respond to Jennifer Ruth-Green in 2024?


  1. Now – Recruit Dem candidates for the MC City Council: Jessica O’Brien, Patrick Boy, Greg Coulter, Katrina Parham, Declan Rice, Daisy Lee, Rose Tejeda, et al.

  2. January 9, 2023 - Deb & Dalia will conduct a City Council Candidate Workshop to encourage people to run for City Council.

  3. Mid-January (after 1/12) – PDLC debrief and strategic plan meeting #2 to continue the conversation and evaluate the PDLC website and newsletter.

  4. April – Identify Democratic Non-voters, develop careful script, canvas to learn why Dems didn’t vote.

  5. Dem Caucus on December 14th (?) to elect a new County party Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Develop slate including Angie Henzeman and Matt Werner.






  • THE CANDIDATE FORUMS were well put together and provided the opportunity for the candidates to speak to important issues relevant to their races.

    • Not a lot of views. Most views - Sec of St/Auditor - 542; Assessors - 252  

    • We should send clips to the radio stations.

    • We should curate clips for the candidates and for our own use.

    • No one participated in the live stream.

    • Do in-person forums while also live streaming. Maybe, people are “zoomed out”.

    • They helped Dems learn more about what to say about the Dem candidates.

  • THE SLATE CARDS AND VOTER INFO CARDS were informative and helpful as we canvassed.

    • Voters really appreciated getting election and voting information cards.

    • The Voter Info cards that were non-partisan could be left in more places to support GOTV.

    • The Slate Cards needed to have more than just names and faces. 

    • Consider adding a QR Code on slate cards to connect to more info about the candidates. 

    • Slate cards should be on heavier stock and designed to be doorhangers.

    • The lit for state-wide candidates didn’t arrive until October (after all the festivals were over for the year).

    • In 2020, we stuffed door-hanger bags with all the Dem candidates’ lit and dropped throughout the county. The bag stuffing and lit drops were popular to engage new volunteers, who we lost touch with after the election.


  • We successfully CANVASSED approximately 8,000 doors, which helped Boy, Mrvan, and Pol. We represented ALL Democrats and encouraged voter turnout.

    • Let's estimate the number of doors we will knock In 2024 and plan accordingly.


  • THE CANDIDATE MEET AND GREETS provided a variety of opportunities for the candidates to connect with the community.

    • Not great turn-out.  We need to include more marketing, phone calling, etc to build audience.

    • The event at HOPE had better attendance because we had canvassed the surrounding neighborhoods giving out/leaving invitations on doors. We need to do more of this!


  • Being at PRIDE FEST this summer was so important, for visibility and to engage younger people.

    • The PDLC voter info bus cards and Vote w/ Pride stickers were a huge hit.


  • Having the PDLC CONTACT LIST was very helpful in recruiting volunteers. Most of the volunteers for Pat Boy were from PDLC and Nasty Women!


  • The REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS RALLY AND JUST TRANSITION RALLY were great to connect with voters and volunteers on issues that mattered to them! Earned media was great. People commented many times that they had “seen Pat Boy in the papers”. 

    • We should plan events with candidates speaking on issues.

    • Dems should be a bigger presence at issue-based rallies.


  • The VOTER VAN was slow to get active.  The schedule needed to be publicized earlier and more widely. See Martha’s notes. We should have people canvassing with candidate info prior to and around each location stop.


  • HOUSE PARTIES are a great way to connect voters to candidates. But we struggled to find new voters here. We need to find hosts in low-voter turnout areas.  And hold house parties earlier in the cycle that focus local on issues.


  • Shout out to PC’s who contacted voters in their precincts! But, most PRECINCT CHAIRS did very little. With VAN it is easy to cut turfs to help PC’s contact voters, build relationships, engage volunteers, and update VAN data which is currently very unreliable.


  • We expect to have voting centers by 2024. The Dem Party must provide half of the POLL WORKERS, for those sites and the Voting Van. We need to curate our Poll Worker cadre. Training was lax. We might supply our own supplemental Tutorial videos.


  • The Dem party should have addressed the NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING publicly. The Republicans spread lies about the candidates, and without a strong response, voters were left confused and misinformed. 

    • We need an effective rapid response team with distinct research and outreach/messaging arms.


  • The DEM PARTY CANDIDATE MEETINGS were a good idea but were not very effective.


  • We should provide messaging about the danger of STRAIGHT TICKET VOTING (electing incompetent, extreme candidates) and that voters don’t have to vote in all races if they feel unsure about a candidate.


  • Dems lost more TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE and TT Advisory Bd positions (now only 3 Dems in 21 Townships).  We should recruit Dem candidates for these seats (13 Rep’s ran unopposed). These races could bring out more Dems who don’t follow up-ballot races but know the local candidate.


  • We did not do enough to get Dem candidates into the African American churches.


  • Continue to work on developing a GOTV app that encourages voters to make a plan, reminds them of the day they chose to vote, rewards them for voting, and asks about the voting experience.


These are comments from Martha Maust because I will not be able to attend the event on Monday.


  1.  I think the composition of the voter has changed over the past several years.  I wore my Mrvan T-shirt on the train to Chicago several times. I had no positive comments.  I had a couple people tell me that they had been usually a strong Democrat but were planning to vote Republican because of inflation which they felt was caused by high government spending.  And unhappy about high crime.

  2. I had contacted the Herald Dispatch frequently about their coverage of the election urging them to write more articles about the candidates and the issues, but it didn’t happen.  I would like local papers to take a lesson from The Gary Crusader.

  3. I helped all the candidates 100%.  I sponsored 3 meet and greet events.  Hosted one fundraiser.  Attended and donated to ALL Democrat candidates.  Attended parades, festivals, and multiple events in the south county and La Porte city.  We were well received, and we always outnumbered the opponents with participants and enthusiasm, but we didn’t win their votes.

  4. I worked most early voting in the voting van.  I was able to get a friend to canvas every home at Lakeland Estates while we were there for the afternoon, but no residents came to vote in the van.  We were parked in an obvious location that everyone could see when they drove in and out of the residence.  How can we stress to these voters the importance of voting.  I was also concerned about publicity of the van.  It was posted in the newspapers, but it could’ve been more timely.  And I attempted to post on social media, but many times, my posts had to wait to be approved by an administrator, so I felt that Facebook was somewhat ineffective.

  5. I am burned out on politics for now.  I just can’t work that hard and spend so much of my money with very poor results.  I do have an idea that I will implement in the spring. 

  6. And the fortunate thing for Dems in the next 4 years election cycle is because the Democrats candidate for secretary of state didn’t win in our county, we will no longer have to provide the inspector at polling locations.  The inspector will now be a Republican.  I’m not happy about that because I did work very hard to recruit poll workers for this election.  And I’ve got a long list of friends who are willing to do that. 

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