Young Democrats IN OFFICE
Making a difference every day.
As an organization, one of our top priorities is recruiting, training, and supporting young Democrats on the ballot across the state. IYD is proud to endorse extraordinary Democratic candidates for state and local offices. Our mission is to elect candidates who represent our shared Democratic values and advocate for what’s best for all Hoosiers.
In a short period of time, we have grown the number of candidates filing to run for office and a record number of young people elected. In 2018, we made history by electing the first LGBTQ+ legislator in the state of Indiana, Senator J.D. Ford and the first Asian American, Representative Chris Chyung. We continued that momentum in 2019 as 44 young Democrats got elected in municipal races across the state.
J.D. FORDIndiana State Senator
Elected on his 36th birthday, Senator J.D. Ford represents Hoosiers of Senate District 29 which encompasses parts of Boone, Hamilton and Marion counties. Senator Ford’s interests turned to public service at an early age, largely due to the careers of his grandparents. His maternal grandfather was a city councilman and his paternal grandmother was a city auditor. Senator Ford is a son of truck driver and an assisted care facility administrator for the elderly.
Senator Ford was the first person in his family to go to college. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Criminal Justice from The University of Akron and earned a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Human Services from Purdue University. Senator Ford has spent much of his career in higher education, “paying it forward” from his own experience as a first-generation college graduate. He also has held numerous executive-level positions for non-profits located here in Central Indiana.
Senator Ford is the first member of the LGBTQ+ community ever elected to the Indiana General Assembly and is proud to represent millennials across the State of Indiana. Senator Ford enjoys swimming, basketball, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. He is also a proud member of Theta Chi Fraternity and resides in Wayne Township with his dog, Stella.
TAI ADKINSGary Common Council
Born and raised in the heart of Gary, Indiana, Tai wants to give back and spread her excitement and hope for the city. She wants to use her fresh voice and vision to lead the 4th district into becoming a safer, more connected and successful community.
As a young business professional, Tai has quickly made her mark in the corporate world as a high-performing leader, regularly executing multi-million-dollar contracts with global reach. The change management and problem-solving skills she uses daily in the business world will translate to her goals of delivering innovation and progress for Gary’s 4th district.
ALEX BURTONEvansville City Council
Alex Burton was born and raised in Evansville, IN. He is the proud graduate of Bosse High School where he played basketball and football. In addition to playing sports, he also was a part of Youth Resources and served on the Mayor’s Aquatics Task Force under Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. In the fall of 2007, Alex attended Indiana State University and became active with student government and enjoyed it. From his experiences, Alex went on to intern under Mayor Weinzapfel and led him to Western Kentucky University in the fall of 2011. At WKU, Alex taught, advised, and interned for two Members of Congress.
After graduation from WKU, Alex moved back home and started working for Old National Bank and became extremely active in the community. In 2015, he ran for City Council, At – Large and won the Primary Election overwhelmingly. However, Alex loss by less than 500 votes in the General Election. Immediately following the election Alex remained involved in the community and has been at the forefront of several initiatives that relate to workforce development, youth, and economic development.
CHRIS CHYUNGIndiana State Representative
State Representative Chris Chyung of Dyer represents Indiana House District 15. Chyung is the ranking minority member of the Local Government Committee. He is also a member of the following Indiana House committees: Financial Institutions, Roads and Transportation, and Veterans Affairs and Public Safety.
Chyung was born in Merrillville and graduated from Munster High School. After working as a financial analyst for Pangea Real Estate in Chicago, Chyung started his own real estate company, Koh Holdings LLC, in Hammond. Chyung’s volunteer work has included service with Habitat for Humanity Restore as well as the Welcome Network.
GRACE KESTLERColumbus City Council
Grace realizes as a young person with years left to enjoy her community, she wants to be a part of shaping her generation’s future. A tireless advocate for the inclusion and people with disabilities, Grace is deeply committed to advancing housing equality, neighborhood communication, and diversity justice. Grace believes diversity must not exist in silos, but that through forming meaningful relationships we can unite to find collaborative solutions to community challenges.
KEITH POTTSIndianapolis City-County Council
Marion County voters in District 2 elected Keith Potts as their Councillor in 2019. Councillor Keith Potts (he/him/his) is an arts advocate, having graduated in 2012 from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He works with local not-for-profit arts organizations, teaching after-school music classes, directing, and performing with organizations like the Phoenix Theatre, Indy Shakes, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Actors Theatre of Indiana, and Civic Theatre.
Potts’ political work has been centered on issue-based campaigns and progressive candidates, with a particular focus on protecting women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the environment. Potts lives in Nora with his husband, Dr. Bryan Dodd, and their rescue dog, Mak.
ALI BROWNIndianapolis City-County Council
Ali Brown represents District 5. Councillor Ali Brown is a small business owner and nonprofit executive. She has spent a lifetime working to better the lives of those around her from working in HIV/AIDS education, to being one of the leading experts in construction workforce development, to working to allow seniors to happily and healthily age in place.
She’ll prioritize attaching innovation companies to our city so that we may continue to grow and prosper, she’ll fight to improve our streets and infrastructure, and she’ll work on making childcare more affordable so everyone can participate in our economy.
Ali is proudly a resident of both Indy and Lawrence. She is married to Zach Brown. They have one son, Dylan, and a dog named Franklin.
CRISTA CARLINOIndianapolis City-County Council
Crista Carlino serves the residents of District 6. Councillor Crista Carlino is a graduate of Ben Davis High School and the University of Indianapolis. She earned her Master’s in Teaching from Marian University in 2012, and her Building Level Administrator credentials from UINDY’s iLEAD program in 2013.
Crista has served as a public educator since 2009, and currently serves as the Library Media Specialist at Ben Davis University High School on the city’s Westside. She is a former member of the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees, and was appointed by the Marion County Commissioners in 2018. Crista resides in the Sunningdale Commons neighborhood in District 6, with her husband Charlie and their daughter, Alexis.