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NEW LEADERSHIP — Howard County Democratic Party Vice-Chair Steve Daily poses with Chair Dara Johnson.

The two top slots in the Howard County Democratic Party have been filled.

Last Thursday the local Democrats convened a caucus to fill its vacant chair and vice-chair positions. As a result of the votes by precinct committee members, the party’s secretary, Dara Johnson, was elevated to the position of party chair. Former Kokomo Mayor Steve Daily also was appointed to the position of vice-chair.

“This position is not to be taken lightly and one that will require determination and dedication,” said Johnson. “I know our party represents dignity and excellence, and I have support from people who are passionate and strategic. I know the legacy and history of this party, and we know what we need to do to win.”

Johnson’s appointment also made her the first African American ever to act as the party’s chair in Howard County.

Serving alongside Johnson will be Daily, and his appointment marked a return to local politics since his stint as mayor in the ‘80s. He was dubbed a “veteran political force” in a press release sent out by the party. He has been “active in the Democratic behind the scenes for many years,” according to the release.

“I know I have not been visible for a number of years, but I have always supported our candidates,” said Daily. “That’s not all that I want to do going forward. I am ready to be present, fund raise, and recruit candidates.”

Johnson and Daily replace outgoing Chair Kathy Skiles and Vice Chair Steve Geiselman. Skiles and Geiselman stepped down from their positions at the end of the year.

With Johnson stepping into the role of chair, her former position of party secretary is now vacant. She said a secretary will be appointed at a future date when a candidate is found. Johnson and Daily were the only candidates for the positions within the party’s leadership.

“I cannot do this by myself. I need everyone’s help,” said Johnson. “I will do what it takes to make sure we have the right people in the right positions to make sure that the Howard County Democratic Party flourishes and progresses into its next season.”