Kendall off, Cassidy on for county council ballot



There’s been a shake-up to the democratic ballot for the November election.

Mike Kendall withdrew his candidacy for the at-large Dubois County Council seat Wednesday, and Todd Cassidy of Jasper filed to fill the vacancy. Now, Cassidy, 26, Matt Brosmer, 29, and Mikayla Granados, 24, will appear on the ballot as the democratic choices for county council at-large.

Granados and Kendall, who is also the party chair of the Dubois County Democrats, have been in the news lately following the revelation that Granados has a felony on her record, making her ineligible to run for office. Kendall and Granados have said that legal counsel in Indianapolis advised the party that she could run. Now that she has won a primary, the process for challenging her candidacy is limited. Kendall said Tuesday that the controversy did not play into his decision to withdraw his candidacy. Rather, he withdrew so that Cassidy could run.

“I think that the key to the county growing is letting younger people into power,” Kendall said.

Initially, he ran to ensure the Dubois County Democrats could fill the slate on the primary ballot and to support the younger candidates who filed. He’s been looking for someone younger to take his place all along, he said. That person came along two weeks ago when Cassidy agreed to run.

Cassidy is the son of Chris Cassidy and Rolanda Gabhart, both of Jasper, and is a Jasper native. He hopes to bring fiscal responsibility and a fresh perspective to the council.

Cassidy describes himself as someone who looks at issues with an outside view and believes he can bring new ideas to the council’s discussions. He’s also confident in his ability to manage money, a skill he’s honed over a decade of managing Midwest Cafe, a local business his mother founded. With any business, Cassidy said, you have good times and you have times where making a profit is a struggle. To be successful, you have to manage money well in the good times so you can survive the droughts.

“I know how to save money and spend money wisely,” he said.

A decade managing a successful small business has also taught him problem-solving and customer service skills, both of which he believes will serve him well on the county council.

If elected, Cassidy is most excited to be part of decisions concerning Dubois County’s justice system and the new justice center that has been in discussion for the last few years.

While Cassidy knows the current jail is overcrowded, he’s not convinced building a new multimillion dollar center is the way to go.

“I really don’t think that is a healthy solution,” he said. “I think there are other things we can do.”

Specifically, he’d like to see more funds allocated to social work and other programs to solve issues at their core rather than feeding people into the justice system, particularly when it comes to people struggling with addiction.

Overall, Cassidy wants to be part of making decisions for Dubois County’s future. As a native to the area and as a younger person who has chosen to make the county his home, he has an interest in the direction the county takes moving forward, and he wants to see younger voices included in the process. If elected, he wants to ‘stir up trouble’ in an effort to introduce new ways of thinking.

“I think that’s what we need,” he said.

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