2022 Primary Endorsements

The Future in Leadership

IYD is proud to endorse extraordinary Democratic candidates for state and local offices in Indiana. Our mission is to elect candidates who represent our shared Democratic values and advocate for what’s best for all Hoosiers.

One of the most integral parts of our mission will always be to elect candidates who represent our shared Democratic values and advocate for what’s best for all Hoosiers. Some of these candidates might not be Young Democrats in age, but they will carry our mission and our values to their Council Chambers and to the State Legislature. We’re happy to support each and every one of them.

Dominic Thompson

Monroe County Commissioner

Dominic is running for County Commissioner because he believes in building a stronger Monroe County. Dominic would become the first LGBTQ+ County Commissioner in the state of Indiana.

Dominic serves as the chairperson of the Board of Housing Quality Appeals for the City of Bloomington and serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission for Monroe County. Dominic also serves as an advisory member for Community Voices in Health, an initiative focused on achieving better health outcomes. Dominic currently serves on the executive committee of South Central Stonewall Democrats and as the Vice-Chair of the Monroe County Young Democrats . As vice-chair of MCYD, he helps in planning programming and connecting young democrats in his community to resources and positions in the party and local government.

Andrea Hunley

State Senate District 46

Andrea Hunley is a teacher, mother, small business owner, public school principal, adopted daughter, community advocate, and proud Democrat. She currently leads a staff of 50 employees and oversees a $4M budget. She knows first-hand the importance of a reliable job, access to transportation, strong neighborhoods with thriving businesses, and education at the center of communities.

martin del rio

State Senate District 1

Martin Del Rio is a US Army Combat Veteran and lives in Highland, Indiana with his wife Marisol and five-year-old son Xavier. Having once been a homeless Veteran, Martin took his experience and worked to help other Hoosiers avoid the same pitfalls. Now, at 35 years old, Martin currently serves as a Regional Coordinator and Veterans Advocate for the Armed Forces Services Corporation, where he oversees the Military and Veteran support effort in Northern Indiana as well as the National Captial Region.

In 2015, Martin served as a State Wounded Warrior Advocate where he successfully partnered with community, state, and federal organizations with the goal of helping military Veterans struggling with homelessness, opioid addiction, employment, and suicide. Ever since, Martin has gone on to advise various organizations and community leaders throughout Chicago and the State of Indiana.

Martin has committed his life to service and believes that with stronger leadership in the Senate, we will undoubtedly see a brighter future in Northwest Indiana. All too often the enormity of our challenges becomes overshadowed by the pettiness of our politics. Smothering the true potential of our everyday citizens, our teachers, our unions, first responders, and small business owners. Martin is ready to fight for our future and get to work making a real difference in the lives of Hoosiers.

Rodney pol jr.

State Senate District 4

Sen. Rodney Pol Jr. is currently in office as the State Senator for District 4, proudly representing Portage, Ogden Dunes, Burns Harbor, Chesterton, Porter, Michigan City, Westville, Pines, Beverly Shores, Michiana Shores, Dune Acres, Long Beach, and Furnessville.

He was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, graduating from Chesterton High School in 2002. He was an Americorps Member, serving as a student coordinator for the 21st Century Scholars Program for Porter County and Gary while attending Indiana University Northwest before transferring to and graduating from IU-Bloomington. During his undergraduate studies, Rodney supported himself by working residential construction jobs in Northwest Indiana, giving him a real life experience within the labor force in the Region.

He graduated from Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law in 2010 and worked for various public agencies in Indianapolis, including the Indiana House of Representatives, the Indiana Department of Education, and the Marion County and Indiana Public Defender’s Office. In 2014, Rodney and his family returned to Northwest Indiana when he accepted a position as the City Attorney for the City of Gary, where he continues to work to this day.

After being elected, it was discovered that Rodney was the first Latino Indiana State Senator and is currently the youngest in the Senate at 37 years old. He serves alongside Indiana Supreme Court Justice Chistopher Goff and numerous state agency and organization leaders as members on the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council as well as a member of the Indiana Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs.


House District 6

State Representative Maureen Bauer was born and raised in the same South Bend neighborhood she lives in today. The daughter of two former South Bend public school teachers and a graduate of John Adams High School and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Maureen is committed to supporting our public school teachers and students. She is currently serving on the Indiana University South Bend Advisory Board.

Her current legislative work at the Indiana House of Representatives includes serving as Ranking Minority Member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and as a member of the Judiciary Committee as well as the Environmental Affairs Committee.

Maureen brings to her role crucial public service experience gained from four years working on the staff of the Indiana House of Representatives. During that time, she helped develop a groundbreaking system in the Indiana Legislature that increased transparency and allowed easier and more accessible communication between constituents and their elected officials.

Maureen has worked in sustainable agriculture including work in small vineyards and cellars in the Lake Michigan area, and the only vineyard in South Bend. She has invested in the area by starting her own business working with small vineyards and grape growers.

Rep. Bauer is currently the co-chair of the Indiana General Assembly’s Rural Caucus. Maureen serves as a member of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and is the 2022 Indiana State Lead of the National Conference of Environmental Legislators (NCEL).

On her own time, Maureen likes to hike, travel and spend time with her family, including her five nephews and her dog, Willie.

kyle miller

House District 82

Fort Wayne is home. It’s where I was born and raised and it’s where my wife and I have chosen to raise our children. It’s where my family owns a small business that I help run. I care deeply about this community and its future.

Growing up, my parents struggled to make ends meet, but never let us know it. They always made sure that my brother and I were well fed and taken care of. They always made sure that we got the best education that public education had to offer. But the worries were there: How would they pay the rent? How can we lower the cost of our weekly trip to the grocery store? What to do about the high cost of child care? What happens if I or my brother got sick and needed medical care? These are things that no family should have to worry about.

As a person, this is what drives me. We have to ensure that families across Fort Wayne are given the tools to succeed. We must make sure that everyone, regardless of ability or economic status has access to the best that public education has to offer. We absolutely must ensure that child care is affordable for every family.

My goal in life and my goal as a representative would be to take care of “the least of these”. Some measure our success in Indiana by the amount of cash we have in the bank. That’s not how I measure success. I measure success in the number of children we are able to send to good quality, public schools. I measure success in Hoosiers’ access to quality, affordable healthcare. I measure success in the number of people that I am able to help live better lives. Join us as we work to make the statehouse accountable again and as we work to move Fort Wayne and Indiana forward!

cherrish pryor

House District 94

State Representative Cherrish Pryor has served as a legislator in the Indiana House of Representatives since November 4, 2008. She is currently the Indiana House Democratic Caucus Floor Leader and is a member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. Pryor is also a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee as well as the Elections and Apportionment Committee and the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

Cherrish served on the City-County Council of Marion County and Indianapolis from January 2007 to November 2008. Prior to joining the City-County Council, she was employed by that body as the legislative and public affairs director.

Pryor’s previous positions include real estate manager for the Marion County Auditor’s Office, lobbyist for the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, program director for the State Student Assistance Commission, and legislative assistant for the Indiana House of Representatives.

Pryor currently serves the community through her service on several boards and committees. She serves as the Chair of Hoosier Women Forward, Treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and state director for both the National Foundation of Women Legislators and the Women Legislators’ Lobby. Additionally, Pryor participates on the board of directors for the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust Fund. She is also a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction; Tillman H. Harpole American Legion Post 249 Auxiliary; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Indianapolis Chapter; Concerned Clergy; and the Indiana University Alumni Association.

She is an active member of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, where she serves on the usher board and is the assistant treasurer for that auxiliary. Pryor has also served as a member of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church board of directors. Other past community involvement includes the Peace Learning Center, Indianapolis Museum of Art Government Relations Committee, National Black MBA Association-Indianapolis Chapter, UNCF Gala Committee, United Way of Central Indiana Governance Committee, Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Committee and Indiana Black Expo’s Black Business Conference Committee.

Pryor is a recipient of many awards, including the Faith-Based President’s Award, Dr. Mozel Sanders Drum Major for Justice Award, Breakthrough Woman Award from the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Crystal Gavel Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

In 2015, she was named one of four Legislators of the Year by the Indiana Farm Bureau and a member of Governing Magazine’s Women in Government 2015 class. Marion County Judges named her Legislator of Year in 2010 and she also received an award from Child Advocates for her efforts to improve the lives of children that same year.

Pryor earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University Bloomington and a master’s degree in public affairs from IUPUI.

renee pack

House District 92

State Representative Renee Pack is a veteran of the United States Army, having served from 1986 through 1991. She gained training as a behavioral specialist and was certified in drug and alcohol counseling.

Pack is the ranking Democratic member of the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee, She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee and the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee.

Renee works as a Parent and Community Liaison at the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. She has worked in Wayne Township for more than 15 years.

In addition, Renee is a small business operator, a literacy advocate and a supporter of the local arts. She has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from IUPUI.

One of Renee’s top priorities in the legislature is to continue building bridges and strengthening relationships in her community. She believes we must build community upon a foundation of respect, civility, and justice for all.

Renee and her husband, Sean, are proud parents and grandparents.

austin knox

Wayne Township Trustee, Allen County, Indiana

Austin Knox is a Fort Wayne native and IU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. While interning on Capitol Hill for Congressman André Carson , Knox realized his true calling for public service. Currently serving as the Wayne Township Trustee ,Austin has led one of the state’s largest townships through the worst pandemic in 100 years. He will continue to implement forward thinking, cost-saving initiatives to put Wayne Township on the path for sustainability and success.