Chairman Schmuhl: “it’s a privilege for the Indiana Democratic Party to announce this slate of candidates who truly reflects the values, commitments, and families who call our great state home”
ZeNai Brooks (Auditor) and Jessica McClellan (Treasurer) join Destiny Wells (Secretary of State) and Tom McDermott (U.S. Senate) on ticket that shows the future of Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today announced its statewide candidates for the upcoming 2022 statewide elections:
Tom McDermott – U.S. Senate, Jessica McClellan – State Treasurer, ZeNai (zah-nay) Brooks – State Auditor, and Destiny Wells – Secretary of State
Since the beginning of Chairman Schmuhl’s tenure, the state party has made a firm commitment to recruit candidates who represent all corners and communities of Indiana and are ready to help create a better future for families – no matter who they are or where they live. The statewide ticket fulfills this promise, and after formal nominations during this weekend’s state convention, Brooks, McClellan, McDermott, and Wells will crisscross the state to share their vision about how they will deliver on the kitchen-table issues most important to voters.
“The Indiana Democratic Party has said numerous times in the last year that Indiana finds itself at a crossroads, because 18 years of Republican administrations have led to failing grades on so many fronts: workforce, quality of life, schools, and public health. It’s time for politicians to put families – not extreme partisanship – first again in the Hoosier State. These facts are why it’s a privilege for the state party to announce a slate of candidates that truly reflects the values, commitments, and families who call our great state home,” said Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Destiny, Jessica, Tom, and ZeNai will join the state party on tour to share directly with voters about how they will put a stop to the Indiana GOP’s corruption and deliver a future that creates jobs, spends state tax dollars responsibly, protects individual freedoms, and secures a person’s American-right to vote at the ballot box. We are united in the belief that a brighter – and better – future is on the horizon for Indiana through Democratic leadership.”
Quotes and brief biographies of each candidates are below:
ZeNai (zah-nay) Brooks, State Auditor
“It’s an honor to be running as the Democratic nominee for State Auditor as an extension of my career and dedication to the accounting profession for almost 15 years. I also recognize the importance of representation and am excited about adding diversity on this ticket. I look forward to creating more exposure for the State Auditor and building a bridge between policy and what the residents of Indiana care about.”
Biography: ZeNai is a CPA, author, pastor’s wife and millennial leader with extensive business and civic experience. She has combined her passion for community advocacy and her professional career as the Controller of the Corporate Responsibility function of Cummins, a Fortune 200 company and Treasurer of the related Foundation, which provides funding to grassroots initiatives and strategic programs around the world. ZeNai also serves as a Board Member with the INCPAS and as the Central Region President & National Director with the National Association of Black Accountants, amongst others. She believes that as we engage in community by giving back, empowering others and “Lifting As We Climb”, everyone can make a difference. In 2021, ZeNai was identified as a 40 under 40 Black CPA Award winner. She’s also been awarded the INCPAS’ Building Bridges to the Profession, NABA’s Frank Ross Outstanding Member, NABA’s Dynamic Leadership and Junior Achievement of Indy’s Best and Brightest. ZeNai is the author of FINISH! Leveraging career, sport, faith and failure and blogger at ladyzspeaks.com.
For more information about ZeNai, go to: https://www.votezenai.com/
Jessica McClellan, State Treasurer
“I’m excited to be on this ticket because we represent a generation of tough, hard working women who have real life experiences that can change the tone in our state government. I have the experience to bring a balance of power to the oversight of our public funds and stretch the value of our healthy cash reserves to aid the needs of urban and rural communities.”
Biography: Jessica McClellan is serving her second term as Treasurer of Monroe County, the 12th largest Indiana county with the 11th largest county budget. While in office, she oversees the investment of over $100 million in public funds and has increased interest income to the county by diversifying investments. Additionally, Jessica is the Vice President of the Indiana County Treasurers’ Association.
For more information about Jessica, go to: https://jessicaforindiana.com
Destiny Wells, Secretary of State
“The Secretary of State’s race has never been more important. Democracy is on the ballot this year, and I am thrilled to be the standard-bearer for the pro-democracy Party.”
Biography: Destiny Wells grew up in a farming family in Morgan County. She attended Indiana University at Bloomington and after the 9/11 attack on our country, decided to enlist in the Army National Guard. Almost 19 years later, she is now a U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel. During this time, she also became a lawyer and started a business. As an attorney, she served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Indiana. In the service, she met her husband, Oliver, a military intelligence Lieutenant Colonel in the Indiana Army National Guard. They are raising two sons, Owen (10) and Harrison (2), in downtown Indianapolis.
For more information about Destiny, go to: https://www.wellsforindiana.com/
Tom McDermott, U.S. Senate
“I announced my campaign for United States Senate because it became clear politicians like Todd Young prefer to put their special interests and campaign donors ahead of delivering a better future for Hoosier families. As a mayor of one of Indiana’s most diverse cities, I’d get fired if I pulled off a stunt like that, and it’s time voters across the state turn their anger toward the ballot box and fire the guy who’s only delivered a tax cut for big corporations during the twelve years he’s been in Washington. It’s an honor to be joined by Destiny, Jessica, and ZeNai on the ticket this year, and we’re going to make some noise throughout this campaign year. Our vision is the winning one for Hoosier families in all 92 counties.”
Biography: Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. is the 20th Mayor of Hammond, Indiana’s 8th largest city. He took office on January 1st, 2004 and was the city’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years. Tom is the longest serving mayor in the City of Hammond’s history and is currently serving a fifth consecutive term.
Tom served six years in the United States Navy as a nuclear submariner aboard the USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) during the Persian Gulf War. After the Navy, Tom attended Purdue Northwest, earning high honors in Finance while working full time. Law school took Tom to South Bend, where he attended the University of Notre Dame. There, Tom worked in the school’s Legal Aid office, providing legal services for the less fortunate. After receiving his law degree, Tom returned to Hammond to open his own law practice.
Tom and his wife, Marissa, are proud parents to four children. Following 18 years of coaching youth baseball, Tom has recently turned to competing in triathlons. He is also a member of the St. John Bosco parish and numerous boards and community organizations.
For more information about Tom, go to: https://www.gomcdermott.com/about/