Baker gets GOP nod

Ryan Baker gets a hug from his wife, Gina, after being declared the winner of the Republican nomination for Wabash County Sheriff. Photo by Joseph Slacian. 

By Joseph Slacian

Ryan Baker topped a five-person field Tuesday, May 8, to win the Republican nomination for Wabash County Sheriff in the 2018 Primary Election.

Baker received 2,149 votes (40.79 percent) of the vote, while Ryan Short received 1,408 (26.72 percent) to finish second.
Steve Hicks was third with 1,141 (21.65 percent), Glenn Butcher had 309 and Walter Woods had 262.

The results were announced by Wabash County Clerk Elaine Martin to a crowded room about 7:30 p.m. After he was declared the winner, Baker received a hug from his wife, Gina, and congratulations from both Short and Woods.

“I don’t know what to think,” Baker told The Paper of Wabash County moments later. “It was a strong race. We did everything we could do.

“I’m so proud of all the people who worked with us. We really busted our tails -- our entire committee, everybody.”

He praised his opponents and thanked them all for running a clean race.

“I didn’t know what to think going into it,” he said. “I’ve worked with Ryan and I’ve worked with Steve. I’ve know Glenn; I’ve done business with Glenn. I’ve know Walter through our reserve program. I didn’t know what to anticipate, but it was an extremely clean race.”

He said his committee is going to regroup and keep pushing forward in anticipation of the November election.

As of now, Baker has no opposition in the General Election.

Martin said Indiana’s “sore loser law” prohibits any candidate who lost in a primary race from refiling with a different party or as an independent in the General Election. Those candidates, however, can file for a different office.

Breaking down the numbers, Baker won 18 of the county’s 26 precincts. He and Hicks tied for one precinct, Pleasant 2, with 56 votes each. He finished second in seven of the remaining precincts.

Hicks won five precincts, plus Pleasant 2. He finished second in three.

Short won four precincts and finished second in 15 others.

“It was a tough race,” Short said. “I knew it was going to be close. With five people running I knew the vote was going to be split. We all had good credentials, so I knew it was going to be a tough race to win.

“I’m still a Wabash County Sheriff’s Department employee,” he continued. “I still go in there and do my job, just as I do any other day. I’m proud to do that. I’m going to work for whoever is sheriff, just as if I were the sheriff and would expect the same from them.

“We did a lot of work. It just wasn’t enough.”

In races for the Wabash County Council, Barbara Pearson defeated Michael Ridenour, 722-525, in the 2nd District Race, while Matt Dillon defeated Leroy Striker, 757-597, in the 3rd District Race.

Pearson received 57.9 percent of the vote to earn the nomination and a chance to retain the council seat to which she was appointed earlier this year. She replaced Jeff Dawes who was forced to resign from the post after moving out of the district.

“It’s a bit overwhelming right now,” she said. “You get out there and you pour your heart and soul into it. It’s always a relief to actually win and see the numbers. All I can say is I just appreciate everybody in District 2 that cast their vote for me and put their confidence in me. I will serve them as hard as I did to get this win.”

Pearson won five of the six precincts that comprise the district. Ridenour won the Noble 3 precinct.

Dillon won six of the seven precincts in the third district. He and Striker tied in Noble 8, each receiving 135 votes.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone in District 3,” Dillon said, adding that he also wanted to thank Striker. “He’s a great guy.

“I just want to thank everyone in Wabash and I will continue to do what I’ve done the last four years.”

None of the remaining countywide seats had opposition. Winning the GOP nomination in those races were William C.

Hartley Jr., Wabash County Prosecutor; Lori Draper, Circuit Court Clerk; Eric Rish, County Recorder; Kelly Schenkel, County Assessor; Jeff Dawes, County Commissioner District 2; Matthew Mize, County Council District 1, and Kyle Bowman, County Council District 2.

There was only one contested race for township trustees, and only one contested race for the various township boards.
In the race for Lagro Township Trustee, Eric “ET” Terrell defeated incumbent Andrew DeLong, 336-295, to win the GOP nomination.

In the Lagro Township Race, Deb Schenkel, Gary W. Hunter and Rob Cole topped a field that also included Allison Siders-King and Ralph Ranck.

In state and federal races, Republican voters supported David Wolkins in his bid to retain his 18th District seat in the Indiana House of Representatives. He won the race and will face Democrat Dee Moore in the November General Election.

Republican Andy Zay and Democrat Gary Snyder were unopposed for the 17th District seat in the Indiana Senate.
Wabash County voters supported Mike Braun (41.17 percent) over GOP challengers Luke Messer and Todd Rokita. Braun will face Democrat incumbent Joe Donnelly in November for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

GOP voters backed Jackie Walorski in her bid to retain her U.S. House of Representative’s 2nd District seat. She received 74.44 percent of the vote, compaired to Mark Summe, who received 25.56 percent.

Walorski will face Democrat Mel Hall in November. Hall won the local and district wide race to receive the Democrat nomination.

In Wabash County, Hall received 314 of the 688 votes cast in the U.S. House race on the Democrat ballot. Pat Hackett was second with 135 and Yatish Joshi was third with 101. Also running were Douglas Carpenter, Roland Leech and Josn Petroff.
Although the Primary Election took place Tuesday, parties and independents are still able to place candidates on the ballot for unfilled seats.

“The deadline for the Democratic or Republican parties to conduct a political party caucus is June 30, 2018,” Martin told The Paper. “The deadline to file a declaration of candidacy to fill a vacancy on the General Election for a local office is Wednesday, June 27, 2018. A copy of that declaration must also be filed with the chairman of the caucus at least 72 hours before the time set for the caucus.

“Monday, July 2, 2018 by noon is the deadline to file a petition of nomination to place an independent candidate or minor party candidate on the 2018 General Election ballot.”

The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Posted on 2018 May 15