Rochester Sentinel – 8/16/2019

Roe ready for Senate run

Rochester resident Amy Roe is hoping to fill State Sen. Randy Head’s District 18 seat as a “voice for the voiceless.”

The former executive director of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and current president of Fulton County H.O.P.E. sat down this week with The Sentinel for an interview.

“I was born for public service,” Roe said, adding that her recent participation at a campaign institute hosted by Advancing Voices of Women reaffirmed that belief.

The event, held in collaboration with the Paul Hemke School for Women in Public Life, is designed to prepare women with drafting a campaign story, overcoming self doubt and understanding campaign law and finances.

Roe attended a separate AVOW event prior to her run for an at-large seat on the Rochester City Council. Although unable to unseat Republican incumbents Chayse Thompson and Brian Goodman in this year’s May primary, she is undiscouraged in entering the field of candidates for Head’s seat.

“There are individuals who will say, and rightly so, that they have more experience than I do,” Roe said. “But, do they have the same understanding and passion?”

She plans to highlight her skillsets, including organizational development, programming and policy-making, to Republican precinct committee members who will be picking a replacement to complete Head’s term.

The caucus to fill the vacancy is 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Miami County 4-H Community Building, 1029 W. 200 North, Peru. The filing period ends 72 hours before the caucus.

“I have determined no one will actually fill Randy Head’s shoes,” Roe said. “There are very few people that I feel this real sense of respect for, like I can tangibly feel the respect. He is passionate, talented and every time he gets up to speak you can tell that it’s in the depths of his soul. Whoever they choose will never truly be able to fill his shoes, but somebody is going to have to carry on his legacy.”

Roe believes she has the strategic mindset and compassion to give it her best shot.

“You have to understand the big picture about things and figure out how you can take that big picture with the resources you have and provide for a specific amount of people. That’s what I’ve done for my 40 years. I’ve done it with multiple businesses and many organizations that I have created,” she said. “If that is one point of the job description, that’s me.”

“The other side is really negotiating and facilitating conversations about policy. I have done that for as long as I remember,” she said, noting that while working as the sales and marketing director of the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina, she helped facilitate legislation related to workforce development.

A key piece of her platform is workforce development. She says she is also interested in tackling issues related to substance use disorder, mental health and education.

Increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental health and substance use disorders is one of the key pillars of Fulton County H.O.P.E. – the nonprofit organization Roe currently oversees and helped co-found. Regardless of her Senate run, the organization’s vice president, Bonnie Dunbar, is to take the helm next year.

“The fact that a large amount of people are out of the workforce because they are addicted to substances and unable to work is unacceptable,” she said. “When it comes to a point like this, that’s where government needs to step in and try to understand how resources can be used to address that.”

Roe believes she is called by God to serve others, to be the voice for the voiceless.

“God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called,” she said. “I know that he is going to give me the strength to do it.” She would also like to see more representation by women in office and more accountability in government.

“We need more oversight to make sure that there are not individuals patting each other’s backs … People need to actually serve the people and not themselves,” she said.

Roe is currently employed as a registrar at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth. She serves on the promotions committee of Rochester Downtown Partnership and is an advisory board member to Purdue Extension Human Health and Sciences.

She is also a Fulton County Republican District 1 chairperson and a member of the Fulton County Republican Central Committee and Fulton County Republican Women’s Club.

She served as executive director of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce from 2015-18. During that time, she was an ex-officio board member of the Fulton Economic Development Corp., president of the Fulton County Tourism Commission and executive director of Rochester Downtown Partnership.

“My heart still desires to serve my home community, and I can’t say that I am not still considering running for mayor in the future,” Roe says. “This state opportunity has presented itself and my desire is to serve in whatever capacity is required of me at this time.”


Team to Elect Amy Roe
P.O. Box 131
Rochester, IN 46975