By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Third time proved to be the charm for Chad Miner in the Republican primary race for judge of Superior Court 3.
Miner was the winner in what was probably one of the more high-profile local races for a judicial seat in recent memory as he pulled away from his closest challenger, Karin McGrath, in a four-way race.
Miner claimed 37.4 percent of the vote while McGrath had 33.7%. Lindsey Grossnickle finished with 18.6% and Robert Bishop claimed 10.1%.
Miner, who ran in 2014 and threw his name in the hat in a GOP caucus two years ago for another court, admitted becoming a judge has been a goal for a long time.
“I think I’m well-suited to do it and something I have a real passion for. I think it’s a way to use my skills and abilities to give back to the county,” Miner said.
The race quickly turned into a nail biter Tuesday night between McGrath and Miner with each picking up close to 35 percent of the vote as early returns began to pour in at the Kosciusko County Justice Building. His lead began to emerge in the final hour.
Miner serves as the county attorney and is on the Silver Lake Town Council. His father, Mike, is a former county attorney and served as a county Republican Chairman years ago.
“It’s a real honor to have been chosen by the county,” Chad Miner said. “I’m really looking forward to representing the party in November. I’m going to miss being on the town council. I’m going to miss being the county attorney. I’m really going to miss all the wonderful clients and great relationships … But I’m looking forward to this next step.”
Several winning candidates Tuesday night said the pandemic changed the way they approached their campaigns.
Miner spent more money than his opponents and blanketed the county with billboards and yard signs in an effort to further solidify his name recognition.
With COVID-19, he said he relied a little more than expected on Facebook.
“That’s a way to connect with people on a more personal way,” he said.
In the open race for State House District 18, long-held by Dave Wolkins, Craig Snow, of Warsaw defeated Russ Reahard of Wabash.
The district includes much of Kosciusko County, all of Wabash and some of Grant and Miami counties.
Snow did well in Kosciusko County, winning 70% of the vote. District-wide, Snow won 55.3% and Reahard claimed 44.7%.
Reahard lost to Wolkins two years ago, and campaigned on an anti-abortion, pro-Second Amendment platform. This was Snow’s first attempt at elected office.
Snow will face Democrat Chad Harris, of Wabash, in the general election.
In other closely watched contest, incumbent Curt Nisly topped Bill Dixon for the District 22 race by a margin of 55.9 to 44.1 across the district, which includes northern Kosciusko County and part of Elkhart County. In Kosciusko County, Nisly won 55.8%
Nisly will face North Webster resident Kelly Thompson, a Democrat, in the fall election.
In the race for northern district commissioner, longtime incumbent Brad Jackson defeated Marcia Baumgartner by a margin of 56.9% to 43.0%.
Jackson is seeking his seventh term in office.
“I’m just honored that the people of Kosciusko County decided once again to trust me to represent them. It’s an honor. I love our county.”