Indiana Young Democrats leadership announces bid for Young Democrats of America

Feb 10th, 2021

Bid signals continued emergence of Indiana Democrats on the national political scene

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Young Democrats, the leading political youth arm of the Indiana Democratic Party and the official state-chartered unit affiliated with the Young Democrats of America (YDA), announced that its President and former Pete Buttigieg Indiana state director, Arielle Brandy will join a slate of candidates to run for Secretary of the national group. 

“Over the last 12 years, I have been committed to the mission & vision of IYD, inviting Young Dems to have a vision beyond being just a “red” state. I’ve seen the growth of our chapters, built a legacy of empowerment within our org, and expanded our branding, communications & messaging alongside a talented team of YDs who believe in my vision for youth in the Democratic Party,” stated Arielle Brandy, President of Indiana Young Democrats. 

With democratic control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, the slate of candidates calling themselves YDA Reimagined are pledging to bring the organization back to its core mission “to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, champion progressive values, and empower the next generation of progressive leaders.” The slate also includes candidates from Minnesota, Alabama, Nevada, California, and New York.

“By creating a culture of inclusivity, accountability, and transparency, I have experienced the successes and hard truths of what it means to truly keep a chartered unit and its members organized, engaged, and highly respected. I look forward to my run as Secretary of YDA, joining a slate of talented Young Democrats from across the country and representing the Hoosier state,” said Brandy.

Indiana natives and members of IYD have continued to step into leadership roles across the national organization including: 

  • Austin Matheny, YDA Environmental Caucus Chair
  • James Wells, LGBTQIA Caucus Chair
  • Dyna Martinez, Vice President of the Latinx/Hispanic Caucus and Vice-Chair of YDA Legislation
  • Matthew Kochevar, National Rules Chair
  • Zach Shartiag, YDA Deputy Secretary and Jewish Caucus Political Director

In a year where Indiana Democrats are gearing up to reorganize and elect new leadership from county chair to state chair, Indiana Young Democrats are continuing to step up to the plate as leaders in the party. Last month, Gary native and Vice President of Indiana Young Democrats, James Wells, formally announced his run for vice chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. If elected at the March reorganization meeting, his goals include clearly defining the party’s message to Hoosier voters, supporting the growth of local party organizations, and recruiting the next generation of diverse and inclusive party leadership.

“I come into this race knowing that while things look bleak now, I see this enthusiasm and energy in the state that is ready to be organized and mobilized to campaign up and down the ballot for better policies that lead towards better government and better communities for all of us in Indiana,” said Wells. 

IYD has benefited from national momentum as Indiana’s own, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a supporter and former member of IYD, became the first openly gay appointed cabinet member of the United States as Transportation Secretary. The former campaign manager of the Buttigieg campaign, Mike Schmuhl also announced a bid for chair of the Indiana Democratic Party today. 

Just last year, IYD raised over $13,000 and gave $12,000 to nearly 30 young Democrats running for state and local office. The organization as a whole grew with two new county chapters and one reactivated county chapter. The organization’s membership, financial growth, and continued national leadership growth signal an uptick in interest among young people in politics and particularly the Democratic Party.

IYD is the premier youth-led grassroots political organization in the state of Indiana. As the official youth caucus of the Indiana Democratic Party, IYD mobilizes young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to participate in the electoral process, influence elections, promote the ideals of the Democratic Party, and develop the skills of the youth generation to serve as leaders on local, state, and national levels.

Young Democrats of America has over 150,000 members nationwide, and chapters in 48 states and U.S. territories. 


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