Newcomer Quagliara tapped to head Hammond GOP
HAMMOND — Political newcomer Krystal Quagliara has been tapped to chair the Hammond Republican Party.
Lake County Republican Chairman Dan Dernulc announced Thursday that Quagliara will take the helm from Elizabeth Kurella in a move intended to make the party more inclusive and bring in young blood.
“Krystal is the definition of what I’m trying to do. She has a lot of energy. She is going to do well for our party. We are going to try and bring any dissent out in Hammond and bring people together so we can have a cohesive team moving forward,” Dernulc said.
Quagliara, 28, was born and raised in Munster and has lived in Hammond for four years. She earned a degree in public relations from Purdue University Calumet in 2008 and works in sales at Beemsterboer. She wet her feet in politics during the 2012 presidential election in an unsuccessful bid for a delegate seat.
“I think there are a lot of people who sit on the sidelines and watch what is going on and complain and say things don’t change,” Quagliara said, adding if people do not like what they see in government they need to get involved to effect change.
“I’m going from being a complainer to being a doer,” she said.
Quagliara said she is looking forward to creating a more inclusive environment in the Republican Party and invite more people of diverse backgrounds into the fold.
“I want to work with qualified candidates in the Republican Party to see if we can get some positions in the city,” Quagliara said.
Dernulc said there has been a divide in the party among the conservative tea party faction and mainstream Republicans but ideas from all sides need to be considered if the party is going to be successful. He said the tea party movement brought a lot of people to the Republican Party and they need to be heard. Mainstream Republicans need to be heard as well.
“I will listen to anybody. Krystal will listen to anybody. That is something I think has been lacking. Hammond is in need of that,” Dernulc said.
Quagliara’s status as a newcomer may help people feel more comfortable in reaching out to the party.
“She has no allegiance to anybody other than good government,” Dernulc said.