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Jessica McClellan

Jessica McClellan

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For Jessica McClellan, the Democratic nominee for state treasurer, the path to government started over a decade ago, when she and her children left a domestic violence situation and became homeless in Monroe County.

“I was trying my best to find a place to stay and trying my best to cobble together jobs to make ends meet for me and my little kids,” McClellan said. “I was just doing the best I could and then I found county government. I fell in love with how close to the people and the local economy — local community — county government really was.”

McClellan started with the county’s assessor’s office, becoming a certified assessor. About six years ago, the seat for Monroe County treasurer opened up after the office made news several times for bad audits, missing items and credit card misuse.

“I thought … ‘I want to run for this office and go in there and make a difference; this is a place where I can really make some changes and make things better,’” McClellan said.

McClellan won the seat and a second term. Through her position, she worked with the state treasurer’s office with investing and financing options for local projects like schools and libraries.

“I would just absolutely love to be in that position and bring that idea of modernizing where we can, improving employees quality of life and giving them the tools to do their jobs,” she said. “Increasing customer service to our clients who would be local governments and units like schools and libraries. That’s what really drew me to this role.”

If elected, McClellan, who features her wife on her campaign website, would be the first openly LBGTQ person elected to statewide office.

McClellan incorporated services for unbanked and underbanked Hoosiers into her platform, noting that seniors, migrant workers, the impoverished or those with high medical costs might not be using the appropriate services. She proposes creating a resource list of financial institutions able to best work with those populations.

“There’s a whole sector of people that we can help improve their lives,” McClellan said. “(With) involvement from the state level to make sure that the word gets out because this is something that’s needed.”

McClellan also proposed better advertising the state’s college savings plan.

“What needs to happen in Indiana is that we need to really do a better job at getting more families to invest in that fund,” McClellan said. “I know that (several) counties have under 20% college degree attainment rates. … (Indiana) is a big manufacturing state but manufacturing is becoming more and more high tech. We need to make sure that our citizens are educated and able to get those jobs.” -- Indiana Capital Chronicle