When Democrat Jocelyn Vare made the decision to run for Indiana State Senate District 31, she knew she would face Kyle Walker, an opponent with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his campaign war chest. Further, she knew the Senate seat he was gifted and his history as a Marion County Republican Party Chairman meant he had friends with very deep pockets.
She did not let her opponent’s excessive access to money concern her. Vare simply focused on the residents in District 31 and made a commitment to be accessible and transparent to them. The onslaught of misleading ads and mailers about Vare from her opponent and the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity are ripped from the pages of the GOP playbook. She is eager to address each misleading claim.
PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING
“I did not vote against funding the Fishers Police Department,” says Vare about an April 2021 Fishers City Council vote. “I supported the police department’s purchase of new gun racks. I simply disagreed with which budget line item should fund the purchase.” The April 9, 2021 vote appropriated $25,000 from the citizen forfeiture fund, a fund created when law enforcement seizes assets from citizens, to the police department. Vare preferred that the purchase be funded through existing cash reserves.
It is important to note that two years later, in August 2023, the Fishers Police Department again needed funding for equipment. Fishers Police Department requested $35,000 for additional needed equipment to be funded out of cash reserves this time as I had recommended – not the citizen forfeiture fund. I voted YES.
“I support our police officers. I stood alongside our Fishers Police Chief when he opposed permitless carry at the Statehouse. I am a designated Gun Sense Candidate. And I want to openly fund our police department and guarantee public trust. To represent me in any other light, as Kyle Walker has done, is a lie.”
Almost every day, the mailboxes of Hoosiers living in Indiana Senate District 31 have been filled with Kyle Walker’s messages about Vare’s personal donations. Walker disparages Vare because she did not make a voluntary personal donation to a community fundraiser to benefit a city-funded Gold Star Families Monument.
“I offer my full support for our veterans and am grateful for their service to our country. I supported bringing a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to Fishers to unify our community. Lying about my support of veterans is dirty politics and is a disservice to veterans and citizens.”
As a city councilor, Vare supported the creation of the Fishers Armed Forces Commission on January 18, 2022. This new city body leads meaningful community efforts to honor military service as a cornerstone of the community. In addition, Vare is listening to Hoosier veterans and supports their efforts to legalize cannabis.
Finally, Vare openly discloses that she contributed a personal donation of $225 to the Biden-Harris campaign. She is a Democrat and she supported Biden. Vare’s donation pales in comparison to her opponent’s $5,400 donations to Trump’s presidential campaign.
Walker’s advertisements also blame Vare for inflation and the national deficit. While flattered that he sees her influence so far reaching, she is realistic about her role as a public servant, “As a city councilor, I have responded to inflation that is being felt by every Hoosier household by voting against charging a new tax. I was the only council member who voted against a new Food & Beverage tax in Fishers.”
Known to be action-oriented about the affordable housing crisis, fiscally responsible and a champion for taxpayers’ dollars, Vare also voted against the City of Fishers providing tax breaks to corporate developers who plan to build condominiums that will hit the market starting at $1,000,000.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Through the misleading paid advertisements that are flooding her community, Vare remains centered on her original inspiration to run for office, to represent every voice and to earn every vote. With her opponent’s absence at public forums and unresponsiveness to media requests, Vare trusts voters to see beyond the negativity the GOP Supermajority has brought to Indiana State Senate District 31.
“I knew going in that my opponent had deep pockets,” Vare says. “I am armed with deep relationships in my community, evidence of my opponent working against neighbors’ best interests, and my commitment to public service.”
Vare is a business owner and domestic violence survivor who is dedicated to public service. She proves it through her active roles with community non-profits, public education advocacy organizations, and as an at-large member of Fishers City Council. Vare was the first Democrat elected to municipal office by the city of Fishers and won her election with strong bipartisan support, including an endorsement from the Fiscal Conservatives of Hamilton County.
Vare maintains clear focus on ideals of transparency, balance, and representation. She achieves the ideals by listening to neighbors, residents, and constituents she serves. Vare embraces her reputation for shining a light on decisions others would prefer to leave behind closed doors. An unapologetic independent thinker, she always returns to and keeps the promises she made to those who elected her.