Local candidates were sent a questionnaire giving them an opportunity to tell the voters in Jasper County about themselves. The following are from the candidates who responded.

Kendell Culp (R)

Rensselaer

What office are you running for and why?

I am running for re-election for Jasper County Commissioner, district 2.

As a lifelong resident of the county, I’m passionate to do my part to improve the quality of life and enhance the business climate for the county. It’s important to make good decisions today that will reap economic rewards for the county in the future. A public servant must not only give attention to the needs of the day, but also must have a vision for the future of our county and work with others to accomplish that vision. The responsibilities and time commitment of a Commissioner are continuing to increase. The county deserves a public servant who prioritizes their role as the county executive.

What are your goals for the county?

We must build upon our strength. Jasper Co. is the top agricultural county in Indiana. We need to support that industry and encourage growth in the production and agribusiness sectors.

We need to be business friendly. We are currently reviewing the county’s comprehensive plan and development ordinances. I favor fewer regulations in order to spur additional development. My philosophy has always been to create a business friendly environment and stay out of the way so growth can take place.

We are pedaling fast in preparation of the shutdown of the Schahfer generating station in Wheatfield in 2023. We must prepare for the looming drop of assessed value when NIPSCO curtails is coal fired electric generation. We formed a taskforce to look at options to find replacement revenue when the shutdown takes place. The schools are a major concern of mine since NIPSCO is currently the largest taxpayer in the county.

It’s imperative we continue to support the Jasper Co. Economic Development Organization’s efforts to foster growth in an effort to attract additional jobs and expand our tax base. It is extremely important to keep property taxes low for our property owners. Low taxes are key to new business development.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

Being a commissioner has become much more time consuming the past few years especially. Many counties our size have a county manager to oversee the day to day activities of the county. In Jasper County the Commissioners handle these duties. That’s why it’s vital to elect hard working, dedicated officials that are rich with integrity, leadership ability and excellent communication skills. During this pandemic, it became apparent that our citizens needed to know that their local government was taking action in an effort to ensure the safety of the public. I used various methods of communication, but to a large degree, social media video posts were used to update the public on the status of the pandemic in Jasper Co. These types of examples are certainly not required of the position, but we need elected officials who go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the position.

What would you like the voters to know about you?

My wife Tammy and I are both lifelong residents of Barkley township. We, along with other family members, operate our family farm. We have two children: Kayla Neibert, along wither her husband Brandon farm in Newton County. Our son, Brandon, and his wife Abby, live on and operate our family farm. We have one grandchild, Owen Neibert. We are members and attend Trinity United Methodist Church in Rensselaer. Besides serving on the county drainage board and various other boards representing the county, I serve on the board of Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Soybean Assn.

Samantha Misch (D)

County Council

What office are you running for and why?

I am running for Jasper County Councilman At-Large because I love Jasper County and want to play a more active role in my community. I have lived in Jasper County for most of my life and care about the people and organizations that serve us. I want to make sure they continue to be supported and have their voices heard.

What are your goals for the county?

My first goal as councilman would be to listen to the needs of the people who provide the services our county provides and to the people who rely on those services. I want to find out how the council can best meet their needs.

My second goal is to help our county continue to grow economically. Do we provide the infrastructure needed for our local businesses to thrive? What can we do to help local businesses?

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I believe I am the best candidate for this position because for the past 14 years I have worked in the Social Services field helping families in Jasper and neighboring counties. I have seen the direct impact our county services have on our community. Whether it be emergency services, libraries, the health department, or the animal shelter, our families depend on us providing reliable and quality services. And unfortunately, Jasper County is facing a revenue shortfall in coming years. I believe I can be that voice for individuals who provide these services as well as the families who benefit from them as we are challenged to work with changing resources.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I have lived in Jasper County for 35 years. My husband Jeffrey Misch and I have three boys who attend Kankakee Valley schools. My husband’s family has owned the land we live on for multiple generations. We believe Jasper County is the best place to raise a family because it is a community that supports and cares about its neighbors. Follow our campaign on Facebook: Misch for County Councilman At-Large

Judge Russell Bailey (R)

Jasper County Superior Court Judge

What office are you running for and why?

Judge of the Jasper Superior Court. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve for the past three years as the Superior Court Judge and I would like to continue to serve in this position.

What are your goals for the county?

I will continue to ensure that all persons having business before the Court are treated in a fair, impartial, and respectful manner while ensuring that the Court continues to operate in a fiscally-responsible manner. Also, I would like to leverage the existing court technology to ensure that the Court can handle the ever-increasing caseload with the same resources in a timely manner.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I was appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb to this job in 2017 to serve the balance of the term of retiring Judge James Ahler and have served in this position since that time. I have been an attorney since 2002 and bring a wide variety of legal experiences to the bench from being a Deputy Attorney General and attorney for the Indiana Department of Revenue, attorney in private practice, and a Trust Tax Officer at a major bank. I do not view being a Judge as an 8-4 job and I possess the drive and commitment to work hard and do whatever it takes to uphold and apply the law in a fair manner for the citizens of Jasper County and maintain the integrity of the office. My legal experiences coupled with my life experiences achieved prior to being an attorney, such as being a fireman, EMT, or crane operator in the steel mill have allowed me to have a perspective that is unique and helps me to relate to situations, people and problems in ways that someone without these experiences may not be able to do.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I grew up in Wheatfield, Indiana, and am a 1988 graduate of Kankakee Valley High School. I am married to my wife, Sharon, since 1993 and we reside in DeMotte, Indiana, with our three rescued American Eskimo dogs.

Donya Jordan (R)

Jasper County Auditor

What office are you running for and why?

Auditor of Jasper County

What are your goals for the county?

Since this position is not a voting position like the commissioners and council positions are my goal would be to serve the citizens of Jasper County to the best of my ability.

Why are you the best candidate for the position? Experience. I have worked Jasper County Government for forty years with twelve of those years in the auditor’s office and eight as the county auditor.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I live in Rensselaer with my husband Delmar. We have five children, seventeen grandchildren, nine great grandchildren with one on the way and one great great grandchild. I am a member of the Faith Christian Tabernacle Church, Co Treasurer for the Jasper County Fair Association, Vice President of the Jasper County Republican Women, Jasper County Community Services Board Member and a Precinct Person for Marion Township Five.

Tammy McEwan (R)

Jasper County Treasurer

What office are you running for and why?Treasurer — because I have been in this office for 27 years and I know what I’m doing.

What are your goals for the county?

To make wise investments and keep the county solvent.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I worked in the office for 27 years, and I know what I’m doing.

What would you like voters to know about you?

Resident of Rensselaer for 58 years, widowed and have two daughters. Was your county treasurer from 2001-2008.

Andy Boersma (R)

Jasper County Coroner

What office are you running for and why?

Jasper County Coroner’s office, because the coroner’s office speaks for the dead. We are responsible for investigating all death scenes.

What are your goals for the county?

To bring the Jasper County Coroner’s office into the 21st century.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

I have been certified by the State of Indiana as a Medical Legal Death Investigator since 2000. I have previously held this office for 8 years.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I have faithfully served the voters of Jasper County in the capacity of coroner, and chief deputy coroner.

The Boersma family name has been a respected community name since 1919. I live in Wheatfield with my wife, Diana. We have been married 41 years.