Today Ron Drake announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana ‘s 8th Congressional District.  

Mr. Drake is a native Sullivan County, 8th Congressional District resident.  Nearly 200 years ago his ancestors were among the earliest Sullivan County settlers.  More than 20 years ago Mr. Drake built a home on his Sullivan County family farm.  

Mr. Drake is an attorney, farmer and long ago teacher.  He is a life-long Democrat and Primitive Baptist.   As a young man he preached among Primitive Baptist churches including those in the 8th Congressional District.   He served in the Indiana National Guard and Army Reserve.

For the past 20 years Mr. Drake has commuted between his Sullivan County home and farm, and his law office and home in Washington, D.C.  There he represents non-affluent educationally disabled children against the District of Columbia government.     

Mr. Drake graduated from Sullivan County’s Fairbanks High School, where his favorite sport was cross country running.  He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana State University, and his law degree from Indiana University.  His wife, Carolyn, is also from Sullivan County.  She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana State University, and her PhD degree from Purdue University.  They have twin daughters, Dawn and Autumn.   They have two god-daughters, Melissa and Reggina, whom they have co-parented for many years.

Mr. Drake’s late father was a Sullivan County farmer and Primitive Baptist minister who pastored churches in the 8th Congressional District.  His maternal grandfather was a Sullivan County 60 years’ long union coal miner who helped organize the United Mine Workers of America in the coal fields in the 8th Congressional District.  Other members of Mr. Drake’s family were leaders in organizing the Indiana Farm Bureau statewide and in the 8th Congressional District, and the Sullivan County REMC.  

Mr. Drake taught at Sullivan County’s North Central High School.  He represented Sullivan County farmers and homeowners against the coal strip mining operators for blasting damage done to their homes.  Mr. Drake rescued numerous Sullivan County farmers from financial ruin in the insolvent collapse of a local grain elevator.  

Mr. Drake served two terms in the Indiana House of Representatives from Sullivan and Clay Counties.  He was best known for his efforts to require Indiana coal strip mining operators to restore the land they mine.  At the request of the UMWA he co-sponsored the act that placed the statue honoring coal miners on the west lawn of the Indiana State House.  Years later Mr. Drake attended President Carter’s Rose Garden signing of the new law requiring coal strip mine operators to restore the land they mine.  He then served in President Carter’s administration in the Office of Surface Mining.   

Mr. Drake is a past president of the Sullivan County and the 8th (formerly 7th) Congressional District Young Democrats.  He has been a Democratic Party leader and has worked in numerous local, state and presidential campaigns.  He moved to Atlanta, Georgia to coordinate the South for Senator Birch Bayh’s two presidential campaigns.  He served as a hearing officer for a Democratic Party National Convention.  

A few years ago Mr. Drake and others built a flatboat named Journey of Remembrance from green timber they had sawed from his Sullivan County ancestors’ family farm.  They sailed flatboat Journey down the Ohio River from Cincinnati and up the Mississippi River to Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  That journey commemorated the 1810 flatboat voyage of his family to Missouri Territory for their Primitive Baptist Church, and to honor his ancestors’ service in the Revolutionary War and freedom.   They later sailed flatboat Journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Rockport, Indiana, to New Orleans to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 1828 flatboat voyage.   

Mr. Drake attended the 50th year anniversary celebration in Budapest, Hungary of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising for freedom against the Soviet Union.  He was among the freedom celebrants who were attacked in Budapest by the communist controlled army.  

Mr. Drake opposed the Iraq war.  He said his campaign’s guiding principle is: “Change is on the way.”