On Wayne County’s first day of election filings, 14 candidates filed for local roles ranging from judge to coroner, commissioner, clerk, treasurer and council member. By Friday afternoon, the ballot had doubled.

At least some of the candidates will be new faces because some current officeholders can’t run again for their jobs because of term limits, or they’ve decided not to run for re-election.

Wayne Superior Court 1 Judge Charles Todd Jr. confirmed to Western Wayne News that he is not planning to run again. In June, he will mark 15 years of overseeing that court.

Debra Berry, clerk of the Circuit Court, is concluding her second elected term after being appointed to finish her predecessor’s term, and she can’t run again for her office. However, she is still eligible to file as a Republican Party state convention delegate and precinct committeeperson and has done so.

Mary Anne Butters, Wayne County commissioner for District 2, announced last year that she wouldn’t run for another term.

The filing deadline for the May primary is noon Feb. 9. 

Elected officials provide leadership and oversight of government functions that affect the daily lives of local residents. From making decisions about responsible uses of taxpayer dollars to responding to citizen concerns, those elected or re-elected could shape key aspects of county operations for years.

Prospective candidates can visit the voter registration office in the courthouse, 301 E. Main St. in Richmond, or call 765-973-9304 for more information.

Candidates filed for primary

Candidates in Wayne County’s May primary as of Jan. 15: 

Wayne Superior Court 1 Judge: Ronald J. “Ron” Moore, Republican

County Commissioner District 2: Aaron Roberts, Republican

County Commissioner District 3: Jeff Plasterer, Republican

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Tara Pegg and Melanie L. Vaughn, both Republicans

County Coroner: R. Brent Meadows, Republican

County Treasurer: Douglas E. Glass, Republican

County Council at-large: Gerald “Gary” Saunders and Max Smith, both Republicans

Republican state convention delegates: Debra Berry, Jane Bumbalough, Jeff Cappa, Brad Dwenger, Tara Pegg and Trent Reichley (District 1-R); Doug Williamson (District 2-R) and Beth Leisure, Gerald “Gary” Saunders, Max Smith and Shannon Jo Smith (District 3-R).

Republican precinct committeepersons: Debra Berry (Wayne 23), Jeff Cappa (Wayne 14), Beth Leisure (Washington 1), Trent Reichley (Wayne 35), Gary Saunders (Perry 1) and Doug Williamson (Greene 1).

U.S. Representative (District 6): Mike Speedy, Republican

U.S. Senator: Valerie McCray, Democrat

Available offices also include county surveyor, Indiana’s House of Representatives District 56 and governor.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 17 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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