Chesterton Tribune



Deb Porter to run for 4th District seat in State House

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Deb Porter, career public educator and former Democrat Valparaiso City Council member, is announcing her candidacy for the 4th District seat in the Indiana House, currently held by seven-term Republican State Rep. Edmond Soliday.

“It was an inspiring experience to stand with 15,000 fellow Hoosiers at the ‘Red for Ed’ rally in Indianapolis on Nov. 19 in support of public education, our kids and their futures,” Porter said in a statement released this week. “However, I was deeply disappointed to read that Rep. Soliday’s response to this historic event was simply that he was ‘exhausted with hearing’ that lawmakers don’t respect teachers. I realized at that moment that Valparaiso and Indiana deserve new representation that truly supports our public educators and the children of Hoosier families.”

Porter said that while her campaign may have been born out of Soliday’s tone-deaf response to the “Red for Ed” rally and movement, her campaign is about much more than education alone. “Education is just one very important piece of Indiana’s prosperity puzzle. Since my prior run for the Indiana House in 2013, Indiana’s infant mortality rate has dropped to 50th in the nation, poor public education funding has created a serious teacher shortage, and we are 51st in the nation in access to early childhood education.”

“In addition,” Porter said, “Indiana has seen wages fall as we’ve lost union jobs that pay a living wage, offset by an increase in low-paying, non-union job opportunities. It’s become clear to me that Ed Soliday has not made a significant change for the better in our state and that it’s time for a change. I am ready to run against him to make the changes we need to make Indiana work for all Hoosiers.”

Porter, a Valparaiso resident for 25 years, just completed a four-year term on the Valparaiso City Common Council. After graduating from Valparaiso University with a BA in fine arts, music education, Porter has taught in the Portage Township Schools for the past 19 years. Porter and husband Mike, the chaplain at Porter Regional Hospital, have two grown children, Rebekah and Aaron. Porter has also served as a member of the Porter County Library Board, president of the Portage Association of Teachers, on committees with the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), and been a delegate to the National Education Association Representative Assembly.

Currently Porter serves as vice-president of the Board of Directors for Hilltop Neighborhood House in Valparaiso, and volunteers with both the Valparaiso Community Theatre Guild and Valparaiso Theatrical Company. An ordained minister, Porter is currently completing certification in inclusion and diversity through Cornell University.



Posted 1/10/2020




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