By Dan Spalding
There are no elections this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some political intrigue in Kosciusko County.
The sudden death of Superior Court 1 Judge David Cates has led to a strong interest in filling the seat.
According to information provided by Gov. Eric Holcomb‘s office, four people are seeking consideration for the judge’s seat, including Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton.
Other candidates are Lindsey A. Grossnickle, Deputy Prosecutor in the Whitley County Prosecutor’s Office; Karin McGrath, who has her own private practice (Karin McGrath Law LLC), and W. Douglas Lemon, from the law firm, Lemon, Keirn and Rovenstine.
Hampton is in his tenth year as prosecutor. Before that, he was the chief deputy prosecuting attorney from 1991-1994 and again from 2003-2010.
Cates, who had just been re-elected weeks before, died on Dec. 9. Holcomb will make the appointment, giving the recipient a nearly full six-year term before they would have to be on the ballot.
Holcomb will have a tough choice on this one. McGrath finished a close second in the four-way primary held last year for the Superior Court 2 opening, which Chad Miner won in the fall election over Democrat Antony Garza. Grossnickle finished third in the primary race.
If Hampton would win, the county Republican party would seek to fill the vacancy.
The appointment process usually continues for about 75 days, but it’s not clear when an appointment will be announced.
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PENCE POLL – While fully unscientific, this week’s InkFreeNews weekly poll about the future of former vice president Mike Pence was certainly telling. About 45% of respondents think Pence has had enough and is ready to retire. One-fourth of the respondents think he’s been damaged by President Trump and only 31% think he’ll be a viable presidential candidate in 2024. Coming from Hoosiers, that says a lot.
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DC STATEHOOD – The insurrection – and even the debacle involving sleeping quarters for the National Guard troops sent to protect the Capitol in recent days – are two solid reasons why Washington DC should be granted statehood.
The power-sharing arrangement for law enforcement was incredibly inept on Jan. 6 and appears to be the result of DC relying on different police forces and national guard from other states. That’s the best we can do to protect our Capitol and our lawmakers?
DC has 712,000 residents – more than Vermont and Wyoming, and is comparable with other states including Delaware, Alaska, but they don’t have a say in how those tax dollars are spent.
Opponents of statehood have little ground to stand on other than the fact that the additional senator or two would likely lean left and give Democrats a new-found edge in the Senate.
Our nation’s capital needs a coherent police plan and centralized leadership, probably in the form of unigov used in Indianapolis. Maybe then we can avoid needless embarrassments like the housing and support of National Guard troops sent to defend the Capitol after the insurrection.
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Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.