Stutzman in 3rd, O'Day as assessor
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd District, is a bright and effective public servant who represents well both the conservative cause and his constituents in northeast Indiana. He is challenged by Mark Barringer, whose main concern is that Social Security be protected, and James Mahoney III, whose main interests are unemployment and help for those who are disabled.
Those seeking to run against Stutzman are Justin Kuhnle, Jim Redmond and Tommy Schrader. Kuhnle is the best of the trio.
Incumbent County Assessor Stacy O’Day has years of experience, exhaustive knowledge of the job’s requirements and a good track record. She is challenged by Kimberly Klerner, who used to work in the office and would work to make it more taxpayer friendly.
Incumbent Councilman Kevin Howell has only token opposition.
Washington and Gladieux
Our choice for Allen County Council District 1 is Gary Washington. Because he has experience at the township level in both Indiana and Michigan, he is very familiar with the nuts-and-bolt spending issues council has to deal with.
In the GOP primary for sheriff we have as candidates Chief Deputy David Gladieux, looking to fill the shoes of departing Sheriff Ken Fries, and Luke NaThalang, who has served 29 years with Indiana State Police. Our choice, then, is between the insider, who would keep the current system going with his own modifications, and the outsider, who would shake things up.
Our sense is that the department is not perfect (what is?) but that it has no problems severe enough to warrant a house cleaning and a lot of successes the current administration can be proud of.
Linda Bloom, karen Richards
Roy Buskirk has been one of our favorite County Council members. A lot of candidates talk a good “tax watchdog” game, but he has actually delivered, always on the lookout for ways to save money and make sure taxpayers get value for their money. It’s not a criticism to call him a penny pincher.
But a strong case has to be made to unseat an incumbent of your own party in the primary, and Buskirk has not been convincing enough that Linda Bloom should be denied her spot on the fall ballot in the District 3
Karen Richards is seeking her fourth term as county prosecutor. She has more than earned it. Michael Loomis, chief deputy prosecutor for five years and loser to Richards in a primary fight in 2002, is a serious candidate with some good ideas, but he hasn’t made the case against Richards.
Judy in 83rd, Barranda in 84th
As a right-of-center editorial page, we choose the most conservative candidate, all other things being equal. That’s why in the Republican primary for Indiana House District 83, we recommend challenger Christopher Judy over incumbent Kathy Heuer.
It’s not that Heuer isn’t conservative. She is staunchly so on such issues as the Second Amendment and abortion. She is a strong fiscal watchdog. But on some issues near and dear to conservatives, she has veered left.
In the Indiana House District 84 Republican primary race, we recommend Fort Wayne attorney Michael Barranda, who is challenging incumbent Bob Morris, a businessman who won the seat in a GOP caucus in 2010.
Barranda is a straightforward conservative, strongly emphasizing the need for limited government and fiscal restraint.
Vogt for Senate, Cox for 85th
Seeking the GOP nomination for the state Senate District 15 seat are the sitting sheriff, Ken Fries; a current County Council member, Darren Vogt; a former City Council member, Liz Brown; and a very successful businessman, Jeffrey Snyder.
The good news for voters is that any of the four is equipped with experience and talent to do a superb job in the General Assembly. It comes down to a gut call about who would do the best in the Indiana Senate, and our gut tells us it’s Vogt.
At 31, Fort Wayne attorney Casey Cox is the fifth-youngest member of the Indiana House. And he has not served very long, having been elected in the Republican caucus to finish out the term of the late Phyllis Pond in District 85 only late last year. But he is an impressive who deserves to win a full term all his own.