Former Jay County Democratic Chair Dominic Martyne addresses a group of eight local residents Thursday at the party’s Portland headquarters. Martyne, who was elected as party chair in July 2019, decided not to pick up another term as party chair. He plans to focus on his role as a precinct committeeman and his job. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
Former Jay County Democratic Chair Dominic Martyne addresses a group of eight local residents Thursday at the party’s Portland headquarters. Martyne, who was elected as party chair in July 2019, decided not to pick up another term as party chair. He plans to focus on his role as a precinct committeeman and his job. (The Commercial Review/Bailey Cline)
Jay County Democrats have new officers.

The local political party voted three Democrats into leadership positions Thursday at its Portland headquarters.

Democrats elected Tina Elliott as chair, “Watermellon” Jim Phillips as vice chair and James Brewster as treasurer. The group of eight in attendance at Thursday’s meeting chose to hold off electing a secretary until later because there were no volunteers for the role at the meeting.

Former party chair Dominic Martyne told party members he chose not to run for chair again because he wants to focus on his role as a precinct committeeman and his job. Martyne works as an instructional assistant for Jay School Corporation and as a professor at Purdue Polytechnic in Anderson teaching American history.

“I’ve been gathering research materials because I want to write my own textbook now,” he later explained.

Martyne has held the position since July 2019, with a good portion of his term lasted through the coronavirus pandemic. He was unable to attend the Democratic watch party during local elections in November because he and his wife were quarantined.

Of the newly elected officers, Elliott was formerly the vice chair, and Brewster was formerly treasurer. Phillips was the only one of the new officers in attendance at the meeting.

Elliott, who is the midst of her second term as Dunkirk’s clerk-treasurer, said in an interview this morning she’s thankful for the Democratic Party members who voted for her.

“I hope I can live up to their expectations,” she said.

Martyne will be working with her for the next year before primaries to learn her newly assigned duties.