Political Notebook

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Field for Bell’s seat getting crowded

The number of candidates probably won’t approach the 15 reached in the 3rd District GOP congressional caucus, but Republican candidates continue to declare for the House District 83 seat being vacated by Rep. Matt Bell, R-Avilla.

Kathy Heuer, 62, a Whitley County businesswoman, is the latest to announce she will run in a Republican caucus to replace Bell on the fall ballot.

She previously served on the Columbia City Common Council for eight years, as well as stints at the Columbia City Housing Authority, Columbia City Board of Works and Columbia City Plan Commission.

Heuer also has been both chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Whitley County Republican Party.

“My goals as a state representative will be to embrace the values and beliefs of my district and to work toward better economic development strategies in order to bring jobs to northeast Indiana; to support our schools by fighting for a fair way of funding our diverse school systems within our district and to find a reasonable way of protecting our successful local government structures from unnecessary government reform,” Heuer says.

Another candidate seeking the nomination is Allen County Councilman Paul Moss. He would have to resign from council if he wins the caucus.

William Etzler of LaOtto has also filed to be a candidate for the caucus. He previously worked in local government in Noble and Allen counties but has been the regional manager with Aqua Indiana for several years.

Also interested is M. Bruce Scott, a partner with the Helmke Beams law firm. According to his firm bio, Scott has been president of the Adams County Bar Association and is involved in several community organizations including Homebound Meals Inc.

These four candidates join two others who had previously declared: Allen County native Brandon Seifert and attorney Phil Troyer.

The Indiana Republican Party has set the caucus for 7 p.m. June 28 at Churubusco High School. Filing deadline is Friday.

Possible opening

If Mayor Tom Henry opts to seek re-election next year, he’ll have to find a replacement for the man who helped him run a successful campaign in 2007.

Joe Fox is now Henry’s chief spokesman and a member of his senior staff.

“I’m very grateful for that,” Henry said of Fox’s role in the campaign.

When Henry introduced Fox and new Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy last week, he acknowledged that Fox wouldn’t be able to be his campaign manager again.

But the mayor said he still hasn’t decided whether there will even be a re-election campaign to run. He said he’s currently in the process of evaluating whether he wants to seek a second term.

Milking it

City Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, challenged Controller Pat Roller’s inflation calculations Tuesday.

Roller is a certified public accountant and the city’s top finance official. Harper is a local attorney. Both graduated from Indiana University.

Roller said she used the standard consumer price index from the U.S. Department of Labor to estimate how much extra the Renaissance Square renovations would cost because of a nine-month delay.

Harper criticized her for not using a different index and questioned why the price of milk would affect a government construction contract. And he suggested it was just another price increase.

Roller defended her estimate and reminded the council members that they knew halting the project to work with county officials would come with a price tag. Plus, local construction workers buy milk, too.

Amanda Iacone of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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