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Diana Hess elected as next St. Joseph County Democratic Party chair

St. Joseph County Democrats Facebook

St. Joseph County Council member Diana Hess has been elected as the next chair of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party.

In a Facebook post, the party announced Hess was chosen as chair in a Thursday night party caucus. She’s the first woman to serve as chair in more than 40 years.

Mark Torma, the party’s previous chair, resigned last month after less than four months on the job. He had replaced Stan Wruble as chair in May, when Wruble resigned after leading the party since October 2019.

Hess has represented District E on the county council for nearly nine years, and currently also serves as the president pro tempore.

With the election of Hess as chair, party vice chair Debbie Ladgya-Block vacated her position on Thursday. That’s due to a party rule requiring the chair and vice-chair to be of different genders.

Ladgya-Block has served on the Mishawaka Common Council since 1992, and as party vice chair since 1997.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.