Those who want a part-time or a full-time public service role — such as helping their county spend tax money or leading a trial — have several opportunities to consider in the 2024 election.

Primary opportunities

Although November’s election seems far away, those who want to run as Republicans or Democrats need to make up their minds in the next couple of weeks. 

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

Local offices up for grabs include county council, two commissioner seats, coroner, clerk, treasurer, surveyor, judge, precinct committeeperson and state convention delegate, plus Indiana’s District 56 House representative. 

In addition, no incumbents are running for Indiana’s District 6 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and one of Indiana’s U.S. Senate seats.

Contested race for judge

During the first week of filing, Richmond attorney Ron Moore filed to run for Wayne County Superior Court 1 judge, and in the last few days, two more attorneys, J. Clayton Miller and Austin Shadle, announced their candidacies.

The current judge, Charles Todd Jr., told Western Wayne News he does not intend to run again. 

Ronald J. Moore

In a news release, Moore noted he has been practicing law in Richmond since 1997 and is owner of the Moore Law Firm, LLC. 

“I have served Wayne County for over two decades and am excited for the possibility to transition to a place where I feel that I can serve and assist, and make a more lasting impact in this community that I love,” Moore wrote.

Moore’s firm handles court-appointed cases from Wayne and Randolph counties and serves private clients in criminal defense, wills, estates, trusts, appeals, civil litigation and business matters, the release said.   

Moore is currently president of Wayne County Bar Association and his memberships include professional organizations such as National Association of Criminal Defense Law. 

“…Judge Todd’s fifteen years of service in Wayne Superior Court 1 has left quite a legacy, one that I would be honored to be able to continue,” Moore wrote. 

J. Clayton Miller

Meanwhile, Miller also said in a news release that his decision came about after much deliberation and prayer and encouragement from his family, Wayne County Bar colleagues and friends. 

If privileged to serve as judge, Miller said he would preside over the courtroom with three values: acting justly, promoting resolution and walking humbly. 

Every litigant should be confident of being heard and treated fairly, Miller said, and as servant leaders, a judge should humbly exercise judicial power only to the extent a litigant or case requires. 

In addition, Miller said judges should encourage parties to resolve as much conflict between themselves as possible. 

“Equipping litigants with tools for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, to address the conflict that led to the litigation often serves the parties better than protracted litigation,” he wrote. 

Austin Shadle

The third candidate, Austin Shadle, is the acting court commissioner presiding over Wayne County 4-D Court, which handles paternity and child support related matters.

Shadle was appointed to his position and currently serves under the presiding judges of the Wayne Circuit and Superior Courts, including Wayne Superior 1 Judge Charles K. Todd Jr., in whose footsteps Shadle hopes to follow, the candidate said in a news release.

Shadle also serves as a member of the Indiana Supreme Court Public Relations Committee.

Although Shadle has also practiced law in the private sector, he describes himself as a public servant at heart, first working his way through law school as a court bailiff, and afterward, serving as deputy prosecuting attorney, public defender, town attorney, and for nearly four years now, court commissioner.

Shadle earned degrees from both Purdue University and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Only on fall ballot

A few opportunities won’t be on the ballot until November, so there’s a little more time to make a decision about running.

The first day school board candidates can file to run is May 21.

School boards   

All five of Wayne County’s public school districts will have at least some of their seats up for election. They are: 

  • Centerville – Abington – District A, C, D (at-large)
  • Nettle Creek – District A, District C, two at-large seats
  • Northeastern – District B, C, D
  • Richmond – District 1, 2, at-large 1 and 2
  • Western Wayne – District A, B, D (at-large)

Town elections

Two towns will have offices on the ballot as well in the fall election. Small communities do not have primary elections, but they might need to conduct a party convention in the fall, depending on how many candidates run from each party for an office. 


  • Clerk-treasurer
  • Judge of the town court
  • Town council member (three seats at-large)

Dublin council

  • Districts 3, 4 and 5 will be up in 2024; however, each candidate will run at-large. 

At a glance

Elected officials provide leadership and oversight of government functions that affect the daily lives of local residents. 

From responding to citizen concerns to overseeing court documents, those elected or reelected 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 who’ve filed for Wayne County’s May primary as of Friday, Jan. 19: 

  • Wayne Superior Court 1 Judge: J. Clayton Miller, Ronald J. “Ron” Moore and Austin Shadle, all Republicans
  • County Commissioner District 2: Aaron Roberts (R) 
  • County Commissioner District 3: Jeff Plasterer (R)
  • Clerk of the Circuit Court: Tara Pegg (R) and Melanie L. Vaughn (R)
  • County Coroner: R. Brent Meadows (R)
  • County Treasurer: Douglas E. Glass (R)
  • County Council at-large: Gerald “Gary” Saunders (R) and Max Smith (R)
  • 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, Jeff Plasterer, Barry Ritter, 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), Jeff Plasterer (Jefferson 3), Trent Reichley (Wayne 35), Barry Ritter (Jefferson 2), Gary Saunders (Perry 1) and Doug Williamson (Greene 1)
  • U.S. Representative (District 6): Cynthia “Cinde” Wirth (D), Mike Speedy (R)
  • U.S. Senator: Valerie McCray (D)

Updated Jan. 22 at 1:15 p.m. to reflect a third filing for Wayne Superior Court 1 Judge by Austin Shadle.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 24 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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