Fatum resigns, Dems plan to fill vacancy

·2 min read

Jun. 7—The Howard County Democratic Party plans to fill a now-empty seat on the Howard County Council after Democrat Leslie Fatum resigned late last month.

Fatum, District 3, resigned from the County Council at the board's May 24 meeting, stating that she's moving out of state. The Tribune reported in February that Fatum was not seeking reelection because she planned to move; her term ends at the end of this year, and she is the only Democrat on the County Council.

At that time, Fatum said she and her husband never planned on retiring or staying in Kokomo for too long. Fatum has been in Kokomo the last seven years and has worked at Kokomo School Corporation as the school district's director of college and career preparation

"I enjoyed it, but it's not necessarily my strong suit — the financial side," Fatum said in February about her time on the County Council. "I don't even know if I was going to stay here if I'd still want to keep on the council."

The local Democratic Party will hold a caucus to fill the seat for the remainder of the year, party Chairperson Annette Bourff Milam told the Tribune on Tuesday, but a date and time has not yet been scheduled.

Milam said the party should have the caucus scheduled after its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

District 3 is historically the Democrat's best opportunity at winning a seat. Before Fatum, District 3 was represented by Democrat Leslie "Les" Ellison for four terms.

If the party wants a chance at keeping the seat for the next four years, it will first have to find a candidate to run.

With no one filing to run in the District 3 Democratic primary, currently Republican Timothy Cuthbert is running unopposed for the seat in the November general election.

Per state statute, parties have until noon July 5 to choose a candidate to fill a vacancy on the November ballot.

Milam says the party is working on filling some ballot vacancies, including District 3 and other County Council seats, but did not say specifically what vacancies the party was likely to fill.

Former chairperson and Kokomo Mayor Steve Daily is running the party's recruitment efforts. A message for Daily was not immediately returned.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.