Outgoing chairman breaks tie to give Democrat leadership post to Snyder

Gary Snyder (left, holding daughter Ava) was elected chairman of the Huntington County Democrat Party on Saturday, March 7. Other officers are Beth Ochs, vice-chair; Judy Ruble, treasurer; and Andy Krieg, secretary.
Photo by Andre Laird.

After two rounds of voting, a short Q&A session and passionate commentary from various precinct committee members, Gary Snyder was elected Huntington County Democrat chairman on Saturday, March 7.

Snyder ran against Jim Long, who stated in his address to the group that he intended to focus on streamlining the efforts of the Democratic Party and make it more organized. Long pointed out the importance of the party having a voice in every area of local government.

In his address to the precinct committee persons, Snyder reiterated Long's comments on organization, but also addressed the problem of increasing unemployment and the need to find solutions. He also stated that the party's voice needed to be heard in regards to the move to privatize welfare benefits and cut unemployment benefits.

Both men fielded questions concerning their positions on various issues including their plan to recruit and engage younger Democrat voters and keep them involved.

Snyder was also asked about his plans for his Web site and the perceived notion by some that it represents the views of the Democrat party. He stated that a possible name change is in the works as well as a disclaimer that would indicate that the views in no way represented those of the party.

The group, which consisted of 22 of 24 possible voters (one proxy) then voted. The result was a tie and the group re-voted, with the same result. After much discussion and researching of the proper protocol in determining a winner, Kenneth Zuk, outgoing party chairman, was the deciding vote.

Zuk's deciding vote gave Snyder the win by a one-vote margin, 12-11.

In one of his first duties as chairman, Snyder appointed precinct committee and vice-committee persons for vacant positions, on Monday, March 9.

They are precinct committee persons Andy Krieg, Huntington 5A; Aaron Campbell, Huntington 7; Rick Witt, Huntington 7A; Mel Gillespie, Jackson 1; and Randy Bellamy, Rock Creek.

Vice-committee persons appointed were Kathy Krieg, Huntington 1; Doyle Krieg, Huntington 1A; Suzanne Shrock, Huntington 4; Chris Gamble, Huntington 7; Rebecca Witt, Huntington 7A; and Deborah Gillespie, Jackson 1.