Senate District 18, once held by Randy Head and now held by Stacey Donato, will be contested for the first time in several years. District 18 covers Cass, Miami, and Fulton, along with portions of Carroll, Marshall, and Kosciusko counties. This year, Laura Fred-Smith, a teacher at Logansport Junior High School, is throwing her hat into the ring.
Laura has lived in Cass County her whole life. The daughter of a union electrician and a mental health nurse, Laura is a graduate of Logansport Community High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Indiana University Kokomo along with a Master’s in Building Administration from Western Governors University. Laura and her high school sweetheart, Scott Smith, have been married for more than twenty years and together they have two sons.
Education is on everyone’s mind this year, with the rally at the statehouse and education topics being addressed across the nation. However, Laura has more on her mind. Education is only a piece of the puzzle.
“According to America’s health rankings, Indiana has the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the nation and is ranked forty-eight for the death of the mother. Indiana is ranked thirty-fifth for median income and fifty-first for wage growth among teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on numbers from the ACLU, seventy-seven percent of our county jails are overcrowded and some in our district have the highest county jail admission rates. These are real issues affecting everyday people in our communities, and some of the many reasons I have chosen to run,” Laura recently stated to supporters at a local meeting.
Upon entering the statehouse, one of her goals will be to increase the minimum wage. In our area, the counties that make up District 18, a single person living on their own, needs to make $9.45 per hour to be able to afford the bare necessities. This is the smallest apartment, a car, groceries and insurance. This is only $1.80 more than the current minimum wage. Hoosiers deserve better.
SOURCE: News release from Laura Fred-Smith