Former Congresswoman touts Clinton at Dem’s dinner

SYRACUSE – No one has ever run for U.S. president who is more qualified than Hillary Clinton, former three-term U.S. 4th District House Rep. Jill Long Thompson told the Kosciusko County Democratic Party.

Thompson spoke on behalf of Clinton as well as U.S. 2nd District House candidate Lynn Coleman at the Democrat’s annual dinner Saturday at South Shore Golf Club, Syracuse, as the keynote speaker.

In 1986, Thompson became the first woman in Indiana to be nominated in a U.S. Senate race, ultimately losing to incumbent Dan Quayle.

She also was an Indiana gubernatorial nominee and served as undersecretary of agriculture under President Bill Clinton, according to Kosciusko County Democratic Party Chair David Kolbe in his introduction of Thompson.

Born in Kosciusko County, she said she spent most of her youth here.
“It’s really nice to be home, thank you for inviting me,” she said.

On Coleman, she stated his campaign was just designated as an “emerging campaign” by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “and that is because he’s within striking distance of winning this election.” She and her husband have known Coleman for 15 years and worship at the same church, she stated.

Having been a Democrat and politician for a long time, she said it’s not all bad to be a Democrat in a typically Republican state, “because this is where we Democrats thrive. We are at our best when we’re fighting for the things that we truly believe in. We are at our best because we are not armchair politicians. It’s not in our blood. That’s not how we operate when we want to make a real difference in our communities,” she said.

Democrats form their policies in the fields, neighborhoods, talking to teachers and educators, laborers and small business owners, she said. And while there may be more Republicans than

Democrats in Indiana, “that does not mean they’re stronger than us because the strength of our party is not measured by the numbers of membership, but in the passion and the commitment of our members. And no one understands this more than Hillary Clinton.”
Thompson said Clinton has committed herself to the issues that matter most for over 30 years.

“And I know as president, she will continue to fight for those issues that matter to Hoosiers and our country,” she said. “No one has ever run for President of the United States who is more qualified than Hillary Clinton.”

Thompson said as president, Clinton will “increase support for family farms, she will invest in rural infrastructure … for many Hoosier families, her leadership will mean financial security and better access to broadband and other vital services.”

Clinton is promoting clean energy and environmental stewardship, Thompson said. “For Indiana cities, and cities all across our country, Hillary has proposed a $125 billion economic revitalization initiative that will focus on creating good-paying jobs and connecting housing to economic opportunities in the neighborhoods. And right here in Indiana, that means expanding job opportunities in urban centers and growing the economy with good-paying jobs that allow people to live and have a decent standard of living,” she continued.

Thompson also spoke about how Clinton is working to protect workers, strengthening the power of labor unions, has championed LGBT rights and has been on the frontlines of health care and education reform.

Before Thompson’s speech, other candidates or their representative spoke about their campaigns.

Kolbe stumped for Indiana Attorney General candidate Lorenzo Arrendondo, while Indiana 3rd Congressional District Democratic Committee Chair Carmen Darland spoke for Indiana Governor candidate John Gregg.

Candidates attending the event and speaking briefly included Indiana Senate District 12 candidate Carl Rust, Indiana House District 22 candidate Brian Smith and Indiana House District 18 candidate Dee M. Moore.

Receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award was Stan Moore, while Darland received the Hall of Fame Award.