Wayne County’s Republican voters nominated candidates for judge, commissioner, clerk of courts, treasurer and coroner, along with various state and federal offices, in the 2024 primary election held today.

Ronald J. “Ron” Moore won the primary race for Superior Court 1 judge with 3,000 votes, or 48%, defeating J. Clayton Miller (1,858 votes) and Austin Shadle (1,409 votes).

Doug Williamson checks in to cast a ballot at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church vote center on May 7, 2024. Photo by Joshua Smith

For Wayne County District 2 commissioner, Aaron Roberts defeated Jeff Wheeler, 3,057 to 2,578 votes. Jeff Plasterer advanced as the unchallenged incumbent candidate for reelection as District 3 commissioner.

“It’s a relief the vote is done and I can move forward and work on November, then get past November,” Roberts said.

The election brings transition in many county offices, either because of incumbents facing term limits or deciding not to run again.
“I was very pleased with the quality of candidates that we had this year,” Plasterer said. “I’m looking forward to working with some new people.”

Beth Fields was nominated as county treasurer with 68% of the vote, defeating Douglas E. Glass 4,072 to 1,899 votes.

Candidate Beth Fields hugs her son after learning of her primary election win. Photo by Joshua Smith

“I still can’t believe I did it,” said Fields, who had about a dozen family members with her at Indiana University East to learn the results. “I have a better understanding of what it means to stick your neck out and put your name on the ballot. It’s unsettling.”

Tara Pegg won over Melanie Vaughn, 3,157 to 2,792 votes, for Wayne County clerk of courts.

In the county coroner race, R. Brent Meadows defeated Timothy Hubert Smith with over 78% of the total, 4,448 to 1,216 votes.

Meadows said he was happy to advance through the primary. “It’s an exhausting process but I learned a lot,” Meadows said. “I met a lot of fantastic people.” Meadows and his team spent all Election Day at vote centers and said he received a lot of feedback from voters.

Voting equipment displays a message confirming that a ballot has been successfully scanned and recorded on May 7, 2024. Photo by Millicent Martin Emery

The Wayne County Democratic party did not field any primary candidates for county offices, but retains an opportunity to appoint candidates to the ballot before the general election.

Other candidates who advanced unchallenged include District 56 State Rep. Brad Barrett, at-large county council members Gerald “Gary” Saunders, Max Smith and Cathy C. Williams, and county surveyor Gordon E. Moore, all Republicans.

Wayne County Republicans also joined the rest of the state in selecting Mike Braun as their top choice for governor. Jennifer G. McCormick advanced unchallenged as the Democratic candidate.

State Sen. Jeff Raatz, a candidate for U.S. Congress (District 6), greets voters David and Karen Ross at Lifespring North Church in Richmond on May 7, 2024. Photo by Joshua Smith

At the national level, Wayne County was one of the counties nominating a Republican for the U.S. Representative (District 6) to Congress.

Richmond’s Jeff Raatz was ahead with 38% of the vote over competitors Jamison E. Carrier, Darin Childress, Bill Frazier, John Jacob, Jefferson Shreve and Mike Speedy, with statewide results still to be finalized as of 7:45 p.m. Democrat Cynthia “Cinde” Wirth advanced unchallenged.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 15 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Chris Hardie is the owner and publisher of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.