Rhoades Draws A Crowd For Campaign Kickoff

November 16, 2023 at 9:08 p.m.
Rachael Rhoades (R) talks to Indiana Rep. Craig Snow (L) after officially kicking off her campaign to seek an at-large seat on the Kosciusko County Council. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Rachael Rhoades (R) talks to Indiana Rep. Craig Snow (L) after officially kicking off her campaign to seek an at-large seat on the Kosciusko County Council. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

NORTH WEBSTER - Turnout Thursday to Rachael Rhoades’ official announcement that she will seek a seat on the Kosciusko County Council in 2024 as an at-large member may have been greater than the turnout for the general election 10 days ago.
District 4 County Councilman and retired state Rep. Dave Wolkins, who was one of the hosts for the event, even commented it may have been the biggest turnout for a candidacy announcement that he’s ever seen.
There are three at-large seats on the council. Currently, they are filled by Sue Ann Mitchell, Joni Truex and Kathy Groninger and all three of the women’s terms end Dec. 31, 2024. Terms of the other four council members don’t expire until the end of 2026.
Wolkins told the crowd at The Owl’s Nest in North Webster Thursday, “Thank you all for showing up tonight. This is an amazing display. You’re going to meet a lady that is rock-solid conservative, very active in the community. Most of you have some kind of connection to the Rhoades families - and that’s a plural - in the county and that’s why you’re here tonight. But you’re going to have an opportunity to meet a real fine lady who will make an excellent county council member.”
He said Rhoades probably goes to every county council meeting that he goes to, if not more.
Carlie Hopper, government affairs director for Indiana Builders Association, noted that Rhoades is a member of the IBA and that’s how she got to know her a couple years ago.

    Indiana Sen. Ryan Mishler (R) talks Thursday evening about why Rachael Rhoades (L) would be a great choice to sit on the Kosciusko County Council. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

“When you get to know her, you know that she just wants to know more and more about the industry and the issues and how passionate she would be about for the housing industry, but also important is how deeply she cares about the community and her faith and her family - all of which I know are priorities for her,” Hopper said, asking for everyone’s support for Rhoades for county council.
Indiana Sen. Ryan Mishler, another event host, said after the municipal elections the Republican party didn’t do well in most communities outside of Kosciusko County.
“We always ask ourselves why? I think one of the reasons is, we just don’t bring the young people into the party. We have to embrace the young people. We’re getting older. We have to transition to the next generation. And we have a gap. And we need to work hard at bringing people into the party - your kids, grandkids, your nieces and nephews,” Mishler stated, adding that he was one of the youngest when he started in politics.
“Let’s work harder at bringing younger people into our party.” 
When Mishler first met Rhoades, he said during their first conversation she was very impressive and she left a very big impression on him.
“I had multiple other conversations, and I found that she spoke from the heart. And she said the right things, but not rehearsed. It was natural,” he said.
Then Rhoades told him she wanted to run for office. They had a conversation about it, and what stood out to Mishler was that Rhoades’ priorities were faith, family and her business.
“I’ll tell you why it’s important to me, is when I first started, a wise man - former Sen. Dick Miller - told me that if you keep those as your priorities, you will succeed in public service just naturally,” Mishler said. “So, for a young person to already have those priorities was very impressive to me. This is somebody that we need to embrace, bring into the party. I said, ‘I’ll support you.’”
If somebody doesn’t know Rhoades that well, Mishler asked that they get to know her because he thinks they will like what they hear.
“So, I’m running with Rhoades, and I hope that when you get to know her better, you’re running with Rhoades, too,” Mishler concluded as he handed the microphone over to Rhoades.
“First of all, I’m humbled to stand before you today. Wow! Give yourself a round of applause because this is amazing,” she said about the turnout.
“I love our community so much. As I look out into the room, each one of you, I see your faces and you had such a big part of my life and it shaped me to who I am today, so I just want to thank all of you for coming.”
Rhoades, a Republican, said her faith, family and business are her core value.
“Those are the reason that I wake up in the morning. The reason that I can serve my community well, is because of those things. God first, then family, then business so I can serve my community,” she said.
Her family’s business is Cottage Watchmen Security.
A longtime active member of the community, Rhoades said when she married into the Rhoades family she was able to join the family business and “plug into” many different associations and clubs. With those memberships, she was able to build many different relationships, which helped her to “plug into” the community and serve it well.
She listed the associations she’s involved with, including Builders Association of North Central Indiana, IBA, the governmental affairs committee at the state level, the Home & Outdoors Show committee locally, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, Akron Chamber of Commerce, the Kosciusko County Republican Women’s Club, Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, Salvation Army Board of Directors and is a member of the American Legion.
She said she’s grateful to serve her community because that’s what she is passionate about.
“As a fourth-generation farming family and a third-generation business owner in Pierceton, my family is committed to our community. As a wife, a mother and a business owner, I know the values that make Kosciusko County strong,” she said, adding that she stands as a voice for the taxpayers.
On her platform, she said she will be a dedicated voice for the taxpayers, representing their interest and concerns.
“I will work to ensure tirelessly that our county maintains fiscal responsibility. I will be a strong advocate for our agriculture and business industries. I will identify opportunities for growth and development in our area, and I will invest my full energy in enhancing the life of each resident in our county,” she said. “I stand in upholding our core values and setting the example through integrity. And I will stand by our youth as they grow in our community, so they know the opportunities they have in workforce and to ensure and be a part of the growth and development so that we can have more affordable housing for them as they graduate.”
As she embarks on her campaign, she said she was eager to hear from her fellow taxpayers. “Your voice matters to me,” she stated.
She ended her comments by stating, “We call it politics, but it’s public service. It’s all about serving your community. It’s not about getting a vote, it’s about doing what’s right. And I’m very passionate and excited to be able to have the opportunity to do what’s right in Kosciusko County and be a part of driving us forward.”
After the event, District 22 state Rep. Craig Snow said he was there to support Rhoades because he believes in what she believes in.
“I think that the party could use younger people. Enthusiastic people. I’m not writing anyone else off, so to speak, I just enjoy the idea that there are others coming that are younger who are interested in public service and bring new ideas to the table and see what we can get done together,” he said.
Snow said Rhoades is capable and committed and would do a wonderful job.

NORTH WEBSTER - Turnout Thursday to Rachael Rhoades’ official announcement that she will seek a seat on the Kosciusko County Council in 2024 as an at-large member may have been greater than the turnout for the general election 10 days ago.
District 4 County Councilman and retired state Rep. Dave Wolkins, who was one of the hosts for the event, even commented it may have been the biggest turnout for a candidacy announcement that he’s ever seen.
There are three at-large seats on the council. Currently, they are filled by Sue Ann Mitchell, Joni Truex and Kathy Groninger and all three of the women’s terms end Dec. 31, 2024. Terms of the other four council members don’t expire until the end of 2026.
Wolkins told the crowd at The Owl’s Nest in North Webster Thursday, “Thank you all for showing up tonight. This is an amazing display. You’re going to meet a lady that is rock-solid conservative, very active in the community. Most of you have some kind of connection to the Rhoades families - and that’s a plural - in the county and that’s why you’re here tonight. But you’re going to have an opportunity to meet a real fine lady who will make an excellent county council member.”
He said Rhoades probably goes to every county council meeting that he goes to, if not more.
Carlie Hopper, government affairs director for Indiana Builders Association, noted that Rhoades is a member of the IBA and that’s how she got to know her a couple years ago.

    Indiana Sen. Ryan Mishler (R) talks Thursday evening about why Rachael Rhoades (L) would be a great choice to sit on the Kosciusko County Council. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

“When you get to know her, you know that she just wants to know more and more about the industry and the issues and how passionate she would be about for the housing industry, but also important is how deeply she cares about the community and her faith and her family - all of which I know are priorities for her,” Hopper said, asking for everyone’s support for Rhoades for county council.
Indiana Sen. Ryan Mishler, another event host, said after the municipal elections the Republican party didn’t do well in most communities outside of Kosciusko County.
“We always ask ourselves why? I think one of the reasons is, we just don’t bring the young people into the party. We have to embrace the young people. We’re getting older. We have to transition to the next generation. And we have a gap. And we need to work hard at bringing people into the party - your kids, grandkids, your nieces and nephews,” Mishler stated, adding that he was one of the youngest when he started in politics.
“Let’s work harder at bringing younger people into our party.” 
When Mishler first met Rhoades, he said during their first conversation she was very impressive and she left a very big impression on him.
“I had multiple other conversations, and I found that she spoke from the heart. And she said the right things, but not rehearsed. It was natural,” he said.
Then Rhoades told him she wanted to run for office. They had a conversation about it, and what stood out to Mishler was that Rhoades’ priorities were faith, family and her business.
“I’ll tell you why it’s important to me, is when I first started, a wise man - former Sen. Dick Miller - told me that if you keep those as your priorities, you will succeed in public service just naturally,” Mishler said. “So, for a young person to already have those priorities was very impressive to me. This is somebody that we need to embrace, bring into the party. I said, ‘I’ll support you.’”
If somebody doesn’t know Rhoades that well, Mishler asked that they get to know her because he thinks they will like what they hear.
“So, I’m running with Rhoades, and I hope that when you get to know her better, you’re running with Rhoades, too,” Mishler concluded as he handed the microphone over to Rhoades.
“First of all, I’m humbled to stand before you today. Wow! Give yourself a round of applause because this is amazing,” she said about the turnout.
“I love our community so much. As I look out into the room, each one of you, I see your faces and you had such a big part of my life and it shaped me to who I am today, so I just want to thank all of you for coming.”
Rhoades, a Republican, said her faith, family and business are her core value.
“Those are the reason that I wake up in the morning. The reason that I can serve my community well, is because of those things. God first, then family, then business so I can serve my community,” she said.
Her family’s business is Cottage Watchmen Security.
A longtime active member of the community, Rhoades said when she married into the Rhoades family she was able to join the family business and “plug into” many different associations and clubs. With those memberships, she was able to build many different relationships, which helped her to “plug into” the community and serve it well.
She listed the associations she’s involved with, including Builders Association of North Central Indiana, IBA, the governmental affairs committee at the state level, the Home & Outdoors Show committee locally, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, Akron Chamber of Commerce, the Kosciusko County Republican Women’s Club, Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, Salvation Army Board of Directors and is a member of the American Legion.
She said she’s grateful to serve her community because that’s what she is passionate about.
“As a fourth-generation farming family and a third-generation business owner in Pierceton, my family is committed to our community. As a wife, a mother and a business owner, I know the values that make Kosciusko County strong,” she said, adding that she stands as a voice for the taxpayers.
On her platform, she said she will be a dedicated voice for the taxpayers, representing their interest and concerns.
“I will work to ensure tirelessly that our county maintains fiscal responsibility. I will be a strong advocate for our agriculture and business industries. I will identify opportunities for growth and development in our area, and I will invest my full energy in enhancing the life of each resident in our county,” she said. “I stand in upholding our core values and setting the example through integrity. And I will stand by our youth as they grow in our community, so they know the opportunities they have in workforce and to ensure and be a part of the growth and development so that we can have more affordable housing for them as they graduate.”
As she embarks on her campaign, she said she was eager to hear from her fellow taxpayers. “Your voice matters to me,” she stated.
She ended her comments by stating, “We call it politics, but it’s public service. It’s all about serving your community. It’s not about getting a vote, it’s about doing what’s right. And I’m very passionate and excited to be able to have the opportunity to do what’s right in Kosciusko County and be a part of driving us forward.”
After the event, District 22 state Rep. Craig Snow said he was there to support Rhoades because he believes in what she believes in.
“I think that the party could use younger people. Enthusiastic people. I’m not writing anyone else off, so to speak, I just enjoy the idea that there are others coming that are younger who are interested in public service and bring new ideas to the table and see what we can get done together,” he said.
Snow said Rhoades is capable and committed and would do a wonderful job.

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