‘I want to be a voice for my community’

Senior Navy veteran to run for county position

Photo courtesy of Christopher Weyer

Christopher Weyer started working at 15 years old, and for as long as he could remember, he knew he wanted to serve his country.

The senior political science, international studies and Spanish major tried to join the military at 17 years old but was told he needed to accomplish a few things first. Weyer joined the Navy at 18 and served for eight years. It was during those years that Weyer’s passion for serving his country began to clash with the other important areas in his life.

“I have a wife and two kids. My first kid was two months old when I did my first deployment, and I spent a little over six months away from her. And during those first two months she was born I spent several weeks away from her,” Weyer said. “I didn’t really develop a relationship with my oldest daughter until she was about four. My youngest daughter was born while I was living in Japan. I didn’t want to have to be away from my oldest anymore or have my youngest go through the same experience.”

Weyer said he started considering leaving the military as he watched his daughter grow up in pictures.

“I still wanted to make a difference and do something for the country,” Weyer said. “I decided to come home and go to school to get these degrees. I had no direct intention of running for any sort of office until I finished my degrees, but with the way the media is today and what you hear about politics and what you see, and I thought why not get involved now, why not try to do something.”

He’s now running for Warrick County, County Council District 2 in Evansville as the Democratic candidate. As of now, Weyer faces no other Democratic candidates in the primary, but three other Republican candidates are running as well. Elections for the position are in November.

Weyer was leaving his political science class one day when he decided he wasn’t going to wait any longer to start doing what he wanted. After calling the District 8 Democratic chairman, who handles nominations and finding candidates for District 8, Weyer was given a few options for positions he could run for, one of which being the Warrick County, County Council.

“The position I feel like I can make the largest impact in is County Council. It’s essentially the legislative body of the county. The decisions made in that body are going to have deep and lasting impacts and that is what I want to do, is leave deep and lasting impacts in a positive way,” Weyer said, knocking his knuckles on the wood table.

Weyer spent time in other countries while he was deployed and said seeing how other countries are run gave him a new perspective.

“I was fortunate enough to meet people from all over the country from multiple backgrounds and multiple countries,” Weyer said. “I lived for three years in Japan and I got to see the way their local government works. I have spoken to police officers and politicians. I have listened to speeches from admirals and generals, and you get to see a lot of different worldly perspectives.”

While Weyer developed a greater appreciation for the social programs America offers that other places in the world do not, he was astounded at the amount of community involvement in Japan that he feels is lacking in the United States.

Weyer said not only does he want to see that level of community involvement in America and specifically in Warrick County, he wants to see people asking questions. Weyer said that goal is not too far off if the people are willing to work for it.

Weyer said that while he doesn’t think anyone can be completely unbiased, he can be very unbiased.

“I understand and I respect the idea that when you are elected in this position, you are there to represent the people. I am not going to push for anything the people don’t want. All I have ever done since I was 18 is work for the government and it’s all I want to do. If the people don’t feel that I am fit for this job or choose not to elect me, then I will find another way to do it.”

Richard McDurmon, the press operator at Continental Tire and Navy veteran, was deployed with Weyer twice and was Weyer’s boss at the tire shop.

McDurmon described Weyer as funny and charismatic and someone who you wanted to get to know. Aside from his people skills, McDurmon said that Weyer was always looking for better ways to get things done, recalling the time Weyer turned a 10-day project into a 23-hour quick fix with a little bit of ingenuity and elbow grease.

McDurmon said that while he doesn’t know much about politics, he sees that the qualities Weyer possesses are seen in the most successful people and will make him an asset to whoever he works for.

While McDurmon is a Republican and Weyer is a Democrat, McDurmon said they often talk about politics, and although there is much they disagree on, they enjoy challenging each other.

“(Weyer) is one of the few people that I can talk to and have different ideas and still have a levelheaded conversation,” McDurmon said. “He is always open to new ideas. You need to hear other ideas and opinions to come to the best decision, and he has that ability.”

McDurmon said that Americans are not as divided as we think we are. But when we are unwilling to talk and compromise, nothing gets done.

“As a voter, I may disagree with him on some points, but if I can see that he is open-minded and rational and willing to take good points from both sides, that is going to make a difference,” McDurmon said. “We can get a lot done in the government when we are willing to listen to each other and compromise.”

Weyer said that as of now, the County Council position is his end goal, but is always open to whatever tomorrow will bring.

“I want to do my part and get to know my community better,” Weyer said. “I want to be a voice for my community so that everyone feels like they are heard.”