GOSHEN — A total of five Republican candidates are now in the running for a chance at three available seats in the upcoming primary race for Elkhart County Council At-Large.
Incumbents David Ashe, R-Elkhart, and John Letherman, R-Elkhart, will be defending their seats against candidate hopefuls Jason Obendorf, R-Elkhart, Thomas Stump, R-Goshen, and Randy Wilson, R-Elkhart.
Following is the biographical information of each candidate as well as answers to several questions related to their candidacy for county council.
David M. Ashe
- Age: 51
- Address: Elkhart
- Education: Elkhart Central High School 1979, Central Texas College 1986-1987, Austin Peay State University 1991-1993
- Employment: BFI 1996-present, Bayer 1995-1996, United States Army 1979-1995 (retired)
- Other: Married 30 years, four children and nine grandchildren. I enjoy watching and playing sports and volunteering in the community.
Why have you decided to run for (re)election?
I was born and raised in Elkhart County and have a desire to make Elkhart County a vibrant place where my children and grandchildren can build happy and productive lives.
Why do you feel you are the most qualified candidate for this position?
I feel my life experience growing up in Elkhart County, traveling the world while in the military and being involved with community services have helped me develop the necessary qualities for this position. What most qualifies me though is my experience being on both the Elkhart City Council and the Elkhart County Council for a total of eight years. During this past term while dealing with tough economic issues, I have developed the tools necessary to continue doing a good job for the residents of Elkhart County.
What do you feel are some of the biggest issues or challenges currently facing the County Council? How would you address those issues if (re)elected?
A.) The loss of revenue coming into the county due to House Bill 1001. The county has had a reduction in property taxes due to the turn of the economy. Local option income taxes and high gas prices have caused decreases in the gas taxes. This loss of funds has been a real challenge. We have addressed this issue by cutting $11 million from our budget and implementing a hiring freeze (over 30 open positions), combining some departments and prioritizing the county needs.
B.) The loss of jobs in the county. I will continue to support our local businesses as they try and grow. I will work with the EDC to bring new jobs with diversity and good pay to our community.