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St. Joseph County Democratic Party to Hold Caucuses to Replace South Bend Clerk

Jennifer Weingart
WVPE Public Radio


South Bend City Clerk Kareemah Fowler recently resigned her post to be CFO of South Bend Community Schools. That leaves a vacancy to be filled by a unique election.

There will be two party caucuses in the next few months to fill the vacancy. In August there will be a caucus to fill the spot until the end of the year. 

There will be another caucus later to choose the clerk for the next term. Fowler will be re-elected in November--because she’s running unopposed and stepped down after the deadline to be removed from the ballot. 

The St. Joseph County Democratic party precinct chairs in South Bend will vote by secret ballot. The process is mandated by the state.

Austin Matheny, the Executive Director of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party, said even though the process is, by nature, very closed, they try to let people’s voices be heard.

“We are required to host a caucus. We want that process to be as open and transparent as possible which is why many of our precinct chair positions are elected, as many as we can get elected are elected. And anybody can reach out to us and reach out to their precinct person as they see fit.”

Anyone who’s interested in becoming the next city clerk must file election forms with the party and the county clerk. Then the candidates will debate for the party before the vote among the chairs is held.