takes hold in politics
...Mark Root, a librarian at Bethel College, became the St. Joseph County Council's freshest face after his election victory Tuesday.
SOUTH BEND -- Born in North Dakota, Mark Root
didn't ride anybody's coattails into politics.
understood its significance.
...Root, 31, a Republican, is the newest member of the St. Joseph County Council after defeating Ken Welsh in Tuesday's election.
...A married father of one, Root said he relied on the help of family and several students at Bethel College, where Root is a librarian.
Foughty was recently hired to work for the LaPorte County Republican Party
...A graduate of Penn High School, Bethel College and Indiana University, Root has spent his whole life around libraries, including the last nine years at Bethel's facility.He
said the job satisfies his
thirst for knowledge and his
desire to help others.
"I get to work with people and help them find information," he
said."It's a little bit like being a detective.They come in and need your help.They've got some pieces of the puzzle.But I get to take the pieces and make a complete picture."
After doing some nuts-and-bolts campaign work in recent years, dropping off literature and registering voters, Root
decided to try his
hand in politics.
With the county council split 5-4 this year in favor of the Democrats, Republican leaders wanted to keep a GOP member in Reinholtz's seat, Root
said the party gave him enough money to do a large amount of direct-mail advertisements to past GOP campaign contributors.Root
added that his
campaign workers spent a lot of late nights -- especially during the primary -- knocking on doors and talking to people.
Root beat Welsh by 2,400 votes.
The council has been divided, but Root
said the situation is not hopeless.He
said a recent, potentially controversial request by the University of Notre Dame
to close Juniper Road through campus was handled smoothly by the county, and the request was approved unanimously.
That should serve as a model, Root
said, "on how the council can resolve the contentious issues that face us.
"There are issues where we can work together.On those issues where we disagree, we may have different philosophies or outlooks on how things should be done.But it's a normal part of the process."Root
believes tax relief should be the highest priority for the council.