Penny Githens, Democrat, is announcing her 2018 candidacy for the Indiana House of Representatives in District 60.
I want to take this opportunity to tell people why I am running. I grew up in Richmond, Indiana, and am proud of my Hoosier heritage. But, the Indiana of today is not the Indiana of my youth. Our state faces multiple serious challenges: deteriorating roads and bridges that threaten the cross-roads of America, a public education system and Department of Child Services that are understaffed and underfunded, a raging opioid epidemic, and too many Hoosiers who work hard but live in poverty. We need to bring both fresh ideas and common sense back to the Indiana legislature in order to address these issues.
During the upcoming campaign, I plan to get out and meet as many folks in District 60 as I can because voters deserve to know who represents them. We do not know all of the issues that may arise in the next couple of years, and I want people to know they can trust me to listen to them. After I am elected I pledge to hold regular constituent meetings to inform people what legislation is being proposed and to hear their concerns.
I have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and math education from Purdue and a master’s degree in educational psychology from IU. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, have held faculty research appointments at both Yale and Vanderbilt Universities, and participated in the creation of an international business program at the University of Pennsylvania. When my husband and I returned to Indiana, I was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. I did this, in part, to help our older son who has autism. During this phase of my life I worked with numerous families as a volunteer educational advocate and was actively involved with both the Bloomington and Indiana Autism Societies. Many years ago I led the movement in Indiana to mandate health insurance coverage for those with autism. It’s in my nature to serve and help others.
I recently retired from my position as a project manager at the IU School of Education. I continue to volunteer with special needs students through the Monroe County YMCA and am also a CASA volunteer. My husband, Ed Buffie, and I have two sons, Nathan and Nick.
I have been endorsed by the Monroe County Democratic Women's Caucus, 314 Action, and Democracy for Monroe County.