Naomi Bechtold got an emotional boost from the Nov. 5 Election Day results, and she wasn’t even running for office.
Bechtold was encouraged by Miles Nelson becoming the first Democrat to win a spot on the Carmel City Council since Carmel became a city and Democrat Emily Styron being elected Zionsville mayor.
Bechtold, a Carmel resident, announced Nov. 11 she plans to run for Indiana House of Representatives District 24 seat for a second time.
“There is a lot happening nationally and regionally, and now what just happened last week locally — those wins were actually in my district,” Bechtold said.
District 24 covers western Carmel, Zionsville and parts of Westfield and Whitestown.
Bechtold said when she ran the first time in 2018, there hadn’t been a Democrat on the ballot for that office in more than 10 years. Bechtold got 42 percent of the vote in her loss to Donna Schaibley.
“We were so proud of that because we had no idea,” Bechtold said. “Getting 42 percent shows there was a larger part of the population who didn’t feel like their voice was being heard. There are people that are independent, Republicans and Democrats who aren’t happy with the current status both locally and regionally, and they want change. I think I can provide that.”
Bechtold said her district is made up of leaders.
“They are used to having a voice and getting things done,” Bechtold said. “I don’t think they see that in our current legislature. I absolutely will be that leader and be their voice to try to alleviate these issues in the state of Indiana.”
Bechtold, an extension specialist for Purdue University’s Cooperative Extension Service, is seeking more competitive pay for public school teachers.
“We need to give them the respect they deserve,” Bechtold said. “One of the ways we can show our respect for them is paying them competitive wages. Look at what Indiana pays its teachers compared to states around us, and we are not even close. The number of kids going into education has dropped significantly, and that’s our future.”
Other issues include seeking better, more affordable health care options and the highest standards of clean air and water.
“The person who sits in my (District 24) seat now hasn’t done anything for the environment,” Bechtold said.
Bechtold will hold a campaign kickoff event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Danny Boy Beer Works in Carmel.