A Seymour woman is working to collect signatures of registered voters in an effort to give people a choice at the polls come November.
If successful in getting nearly 500 signatures for her petition by June 30, Katrina "Kat" Hardwick, 41, plans to run as an independent candidate to represent District 69 in state politics.
The seat is currently held by incumbent Jim Lucas, R-Seymour. Also running is Democrat Jeffery W. Prewitt of Seymour. District 69 includes parts of Jackson, Jennings, Bartholomew and Jefferson counties.
Hardwick will be staging a drive-thru signature event from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Walnut Street Parking Lot south of the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour. People will be able to pull in and sign the petition without having to get out of their vehicle.
"By signing, you’re simply saying you think I should have the opportunity to be on the ballot and run," she said. "You will then be able to decide in the November election how you would like to cast your vote."
Hardwick said she started thinking about running for office four years ago because she wasn’t happy with leadership and didn’t think people’s voices were being heard on important issues.
She plans to wait until she collects all of the needed signatures to make sure she is on the ballot before she starts discussing her views publicly on matters such as education, Second Amendment rights, taxes, legalization of marijuana and equality.
"All I am asking right now is that you give me the opportunity to make my voice heard and show you what I am capable of," she said. "There should be more than two options for you to consider when thinking about the important issues going on in your community."
After losing her mother in October 2019 to cancer, Hardwick said she learned life was too short to wait to do something. That’s why she has decided to step up and get involved.
"I am running for office because I feel like there has been a major lack of respect and effort made to listen to the concerns and interests of the constituents of this district," she said. "I want to try to represent the needs and wants of the average person and provide them a voice rather than drowning them out with my voice."
Hardwick has a history of community involvement and supporting causes, including participating in the annual Dancing with the Stars fundraisers for Seymour Main Street, the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour and Children Inc. and Family School Partners, both in Bartholomew County.
"I will provide a fresh outlook, and I am truly passionate about helping people," she said. "I believe that is imperative to our growth and success."
She works at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and leads aerobics classes at Snap Fitness. She also is active in community theater, serving on the board of directors for Jackson County Community Theatre and participating as an actress and crew member.
"I love where I live, and I think I’m surrounded by so many genuinely good people," she said.
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Name: Katrina "Kat" Hardwick
Occupation: Histology tech at Schneck Medical Center
Education: 1996 graduate of Seymour High School, attended Anderson University for two years and later graduated with an associate degree in health care support from Ivy Tech Community College. Obtained a certificate in histotechnology from IU School of Medicine/IUPUI.
Community affiliations: Serves on the board of directors for Jackson County Community Theatre and participates as an actor and crew member. Involved annually with fundraising for Seymour Main Street, Boys and Girls Club of Seymour, Children Inc. and Family School Partners by participating in the Dancing with the Stars charity events.
Family: Son, Tyce