New Carmel Democratic Club aims to build on momentum 

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By Raymond Mo

Erin Vahrenkamp has seen demonstrable interest for a Democratic club throughout Carmel.

As a 2018 candidate for the Clay Township Board, the Carmel resident ran alongside Kevin Patterson and other Democratic candidates and noticed growing support for Democrats in Carmel. Her impressions were reinforced by the election of J.D. Ford to the Indiana Senate along with close losing margins in other races.

“We encountered a lot of enthusiasm when we were knocking on doors and talking to residents, and people were really excited to see Democrats running for office,” Vahrenkamp said. “Even though we didn’t win the election, we were really energized by that and tried to gain ground in Carmel.”

The Carmel Democratic Club held its first organizational meeting Aug. 13, marking the formation of the first Democratic club in Carmel history. During the meeting, Kevin Patterson was elected as president, Erin Vahrenkamp as vice president, Jeffrey Levy as secretary and Ashley Klein as treasurer.

“Our goal is to organize Democrats in Carmel, support candidates for local office and develop leadership for the future,” Vehrenkamp said. “We will identify people who might be running for office in the future and help connect them with the right resources to do that.”

Carmel Democratic Club leaders want to get more people involved in Carmel government and community events. They plan to explore community service opportunities and host candidate forums for local Democratic candidates for upcoming elections.

“While we have a great Hamilton County Democratic Club, many of us saw a need to organize at a truly grassroots level,” Vahrenkamp said. “As Democrats in Carmel, we are really pushing to have a seat at the table and have our views represented. We also wanted to be able to hold all of our events right here in Carmel and support local businesses.”

The Carmel Democratic Club will hold its next meeting 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at Wolfies Grill, 1162 Keystone Way. Guests will have the opportunity to meet with Democrats running for Carmel City Council. To learn more, email carmeldems@gmail.com.

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