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Matt Boyd named new Whitley County GOP chairman, caucus chooses Paul Zilz for secretary

(Talk of the Town file photo) Matt Boyd, below, has been formally selected by a GOP caucus as the new chairman of the Whitley County Republican Party.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Running unopposed for the seat, Columbia City resident Matt Boyd was elected as the new chairman of the Whitley County Republican Party.
Boyd was the only local resident to submit the necessary formal paperwork to now former county chairman Jim Banks in advance of the 72-hour deadline before the caucus Saturday morning in Columbia City.
Boyd, a tax lawyer, is employed by Boyd Machine & Repair Company in Wolf Lake, Noble County. Before joining the family business, Boyd worked at CPA firms in Fort Wayne and in Virginia. He is the father of four children, a member of the Columbia City Rotary Club and attends Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Columbia City.
Boyd bid unsuccessfully for the Whitley County Council seat vacated by Banks in 2010, losing narrowly in the October 2010 caucus to Paula Reimers. Boyd is a precinct committee member for the Whitley County GOP.
Former chairman Jim Banks announced plans to resign from the party in mid-May, citing growing demands at the state level. Banks is the District 17 State Senator, serving much of Whitley County and several other neighboring counties. He served in the role for four years, bringing a number of high-profile Republicans to Whitley County for events on various occasions, including Governor Mitch Daniels, Senator Dan Coats, Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett, Attorney General Greg Zoeller and many others.
Also on Saturday, a replacement was sought for the GOP's secretary position -- duties previously performed by Crystal Wheeler Leighty.
Two nominations were called from the floor at Saturday's caucus, including former county auditor Linda Gerig and Paul Zilz of Tri Lakes. Zilz is a new resident of Whitley County and a member of the Columbia City Rotary Club. He is an agent and president of Capstone Insurance Group, LLC. A graduate of Indiana University with an MBA in marketing and finance, Zilz formerly worked with Integrity Insurance Group adn Lupke Rice Insurance & Financial Services. Prior to 1990, he was a financial analyst for the Exxon Company in Midland, Texas.
After a caucus vote, precinct committee members chose Zilz as the new secretary with a vote of 16 to 10.
Boyd and Zilz now join vice chair Laurell Hodges and treasurer Dr. Neil Hanni as the party's leadership.


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