Retired Muncie educator Dale Basham, who sees “fantastic things happening in Muncie,” announced over the weekend that he will seek the Republican nomination for House District 34, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Sue Errington.
The candidate, who is one of Muncie’s most vocal cheerleaders, said it dawned on him to throw his hat in the ring when he learned —while on the road speaking about “all of the fantastic things happening in Muncie” — that the Indiana State Teachers Association was looking for educators to run for the Indiana General Assembly.
The epiphany occurred during a speaking engagement in Metropolis, Ill., when Basham asked himself “why I am in Metropolis talking about Muncie and not in Muncie, Indiana, talking about how fantastic Muncie, Indiana, is,” he told supporters at his campaign headquarters in the former Munson’s used-car dealership on Saturday night.
He said he planned to use his background to campaign for cradle-to-career education, work-force readiness and better jobs in Muncie.
“I think we have made some enormous strides in the last couple of years,” Basham told The Star Press, noting that Muncie isn’t the only town in the Midwest that is dealing with population loss and public schools that are struggling financially and academically. “I believe we could be a shining example of the future of partnerships in higher education and public education.”
He referred to the local BY5 early childhood development initiative; the partnership between Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools; and partnerships between BSU, MCS, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue Polytechnic and the Muncie Area Career Center (MACC).
Basham directed the MACC during a career at MCS that lasted more than 30 years, which also included positions as a teacher/guidance counselor and associate principal at Southside High School; school board member; and several interim administrative positions, such as Central High School principal.
His campaign team includes a Rebels for Basham volunteer and a Bearcats for Basham volunteer.
“I want to focus on what we’re doing right and how to do it better, and sometimes there just aren’t voices of education at the table to help inform the men and women who are making decisions,” Basham said.
Basham just completed a term as Rotary International District 6560 governor, representing more than 40 clubs in Central Indiana, including Indianapolis, Lafayette, Muncie and Kokomo. He is currently president of the Muncie Fire Merit Commission, chairs the business-education partnership at the local chamber of commerce; and is a member of the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership board.
Basham earned a bachelor’s in English education from Indiana Wesleyan in 1973, and a master’s in speech and theater from Ball State in 1976.
Source: The Star Press