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Vermilion seeks Mahan's seat

BY Scott Fleener - ctreport@indy.rr.com

Ann Vermilion, formerly an administrator for Marion General Hospital, has announced that she will be seeking Rep. Kevin Mahan’s (R-District 31) seat in the Indiana General Assembly.

Mahan announced his resignation on June 14. He will be leaving his position July 31 to work as executive director of safety and emergency preparedness for Community Health Network, an Indianapolis-based healthcare company.

Vermilion said she was humbled by so many of her friends and family that encouraged her to run for Mahan’s seat. She said she wants to see District 31 represented by a Grant County native.

She said if she is picked by the GOP caucus later this month she will continue to keep Hoosiers healthy and that some things the GOP and legislators are doing are in line with her passions. She said she hopes to use her experience with healthcare to fight the opioid epidemic.

Vermilion said she knows she would have big shoes to fill but she would feel honored to fill them and serve District 31.

Vermilion has made a bid for a seat in the General Assembly. In 2016 she seeked to fill U.S. Rep. Jim Banks’ open State Senate seat but lost to Andy Zay.

Grant County GOP Party Chair Darren Reese said, “She’s great. Her commitment to the community speaks for itself.”

If chosen Vermilion said she would seek reelection at the end of Mahan’s term in 2020. 

The state GOP party will hold a caucus to choose Mahan's successor on July 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ivy Tech building in Marion.

Fifty-nine precinct committee members from Grant County, Blackford County, Delaware County and Wells County will be present, according to Blackford County GOP Party Chair Jack Beckley.

Grant County will have 40 votes, Blackford County will have 11, Delaware County will have six and Wells will have two.

Beckley said there are several people who have shown interest in Mahan's seat but only two were “fully committed,” including Vermilion and one other from Blackford County whose name Beckley said he could not share at the time.

During the caucus any candidate who has completed all the necessary paperwork will give a three minute speech to the Indiana GOP Chair Kyle Hupfer, Beckley said.

He said the committee will then have a private meeting and will then vote on who they want to fill Mahan’s seat until they have a majority vote. The winner would then immediately fill Mahan’s spot until the end of his term and would be able to serve during the 2020 General Assembly session. 

Reese said the committee members will choose a person who shows strength in the GOP and will be able to run successfully after the term is up. Reese said it’s important for the committee to be unified on a single candidate. 

“Whoever gets the votes will fill Kevin’s shoes,” Beckley said. “And that’s no easy task.”