Starke County Democrats Choose New County Treasurer, Party Chairperson

A former Starke County auditor will be taking over as county treasurer. Kay Chaffins was selected during a Democratic Party caucus Thursday to fill the remainder of Kasey Clark’s term.

Chaffins told precinct committee members that she worked closely with the Treasurer’s Office during her time as auditor. “When I took over as auditor, the books of the Auditor’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office weren’t balancing, and I wasn’t allowed to see the bank account,” Chaffins explained. “But after things were worked out with the treasurer and Kasey took over, I was allowed to see the bank statement and I figured out what wasn’t balancing and I got the books back balanced between the auditor and the treasurer.”

When asked whether she’d seek election to a full term next year, Chaffins said she hadn’t gotten that far yet. Chaffins was chosen on the first ballot over Debbie Keiper and Tammie Taulbee, who’ve both worked in the Treasurer’s Office.

Also during Thursday’s caucus, outgoing Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston was named the new Starke County Democratic Party chair. He was the only person to file a letter of interest, according to Vice Chair Brenna Crase.

Houston told those in attendance that he wants to elect a lot of Democrats into office. “I think that if we try to let some of those old slights and hurts and slings and arrows where we might be a little upset with this person or that person – let those things go because it’s bigger than that now,” Houston said. “And I think that we can be successful here in Starke County, here in Indiana, here in the country and get some Democrats elected. That’s my goal, and I promise to work hard and do the best I can.”

He replaces longtime Party Chair Kenny Wallace. Houston said he has big shoes to fill and asked for patience as he learns the job.