Former county Coroner Jon Brandenberger wants to return to the job

John Brandenberger

Jon Brandenberger, a Fort Wayne physician and former two-term Allen County coroner, wants to return to the office he held until 2013.

Brandenberger, a Deputy Allen County coroner and family medicine physician with Parkview Health, PPG Family Medicine, filed his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Allen County Coroner Tuesday.

“The central job of the coroner is investigating and understanding death,” Brandenberger said in a statement. “But a coroner can do so much more. The job can be about learning from death, understanding life and making our futures better and healthier. I want a chance to continue that work and strive toward making ours the healthiest community in Indiana.”

Brandenberger was previously elected to two terms as coroner, serving from 2005 until 2013. He served as deputy under Dr. Ray Beights and Dr. Phillip O’Shaughnessy and currently serves under Dr. Craig Nelson. Brandenberger was appointed by Republican caucus to fill the remainder of O’Shaughnessy’s term upon his death in 2001.

Indiana’s Constitution limits the County Coroner to serving two consecutive elected terms. Outgoing Coroner Nelson has endorsed Brandenberger in the May 5 Republican primary.

“Allen County is combating the most complex set of challenges to health and life it has ever faced,” Nelson stated. “The opioid epidemic, suicide, distracted driving and so many other threats demand a leader in the coroner’s Office who has ‘been there.’ He’s the clear choice for an office that demands experience, expertise and compassion.”

A 1978 graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine and 1981 graduate of the Fort Wayne Family Practice Residency Program, Brandenberger has been a Fort Wayne physician since 1981. He is certified by the State of Indiana as a Medicolegal Death Investigator (MDI) and teaches the course twice annually through the Indiana Coroners training board. Among his proudest accomplishments is the work of Drive Alive. Brandenberger has served as president of Drive Alive since 2004.

Under Indiana law, the coroner is charged with Identification of the deceased and determination of the cause and manner of death in Coroner’s cases. Dr. Brandenberger has completed advanced death investigation training and has been a member of the Indiana Coroners’ Association since 1993.

Joel Nagel has also announced his candidacy for coroner in the GOP primary. Allen County Surveyor Jeff Sorg, a Republican, has also filed to seek a second term.