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Ninth District Dems plan Hamilton dinner as part of IDEA convention

Fundraiser to honor former State Sen. Connie Sipes
Ninth District Dems plan Hamilton dinner as part of IDEA convention Ninth District Dems plan Hamilton dinner as part of IDEA convention

The Ninth District Democratic Party, in conjunction with the 141st Indiana Democratic Editorial Association convention, has announced it will host its annual Lee H. Hamilton Dinner on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the French Lick Springs Resort Hotel, located at 8670 West Highway 56.

As a centerpiece of the event, former State Sen. Connie Sipes will be honored as the recipient of the 2022 Lee H. Hamilton Public Service Award. Named in honor of former Ninth District Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, this award recognizes individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to public service and the Democratic Party.

“Connie Sipes has spent her life’s work helping and building up others in her community and throughout Indiana,” said District Chair Adam Dickey. “Beginning with her commitment to children and public education as a teacher and principal, carrying forward through her 14 years of service in the State Senate and continuing today as a civic leader and activist, few come close to her level of dedication to the well-being of others.”

Sipes, who taught and served as a public-school principal in the New Albany-Floyd County School Corp., was appointed as state senator in 1997 and won election to three full terms in the General Assembly until 2011 representing Clark and Floyd counties. Rising to the rank of State Senate Democratic Caucus Chair, Sipes was known for her ability to bring members together and bridge difficult and complex issues. As state senator, she was committed to the well-being of Hoosiers and particularly Indiana’s youth. She served as a member of the Indiana Commission on Autism, the Committee on Childcare and the Commission on Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities and fought for early childhood education programs and funding to enhance education opportunities. She also championed affordable health care, working to develop state programs to reduce the number of uninsured Hoosiers and improve Medicaid programs.

After leaving public office in 2011, Sipes continued to play a role in civic affairs and politics. She is a Southern Indiana Tourism board member and previously served as a member of the Ivy Tech Sellersburg Regional Advisory Committee and as a board member for LifeSpan Resources. She has served on several candidate campaign committees and mentored several Democratic candidates for public office. Sipes also serves as the assistant vice chair for the Floyd County Democratic Women’s Caucus.

“Connie is remarkably humble about her accomplishment and reflects the spirit of our party and the Lee H. Hamilton Award,” said Dickey. “It has never been about herself or her own ego, but rather what she could accomplish for others. We need more individuals in government and community service with that same attitude today.”

Those interested in attending the Lee H. Hamilton Dinner can learn more by contacting party headquarters at 812-725-2018 or online at

Tickets for the event are $60 each and must be reserved by Aug. 19.