Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards seemed nervous leading up to Tuesday's Republican primary contest against J. Michael Loomis, her second campaign against the local attorney.
But she didn't need to be.
Richards cruised to an easy victory in the race against Loomis, pulling in 66 percent of the votes in unofficial totals released late Tuesday. Richards won 16,704 votes to 8,561 votes for Loomis.
She and Loomis faced off during her first run at the office in 2002, a bitter three-way contest that included defense attorney Nikos Nakos.
The issues Loomis raised during this campaign were much the same as he raised more than a decade ago – wanting expanded use of a grand jury and proposing a night court to handle traffic and other minor infractions.
And like that election, Allen County GOP voters made their choice crystal clear.
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Relief evident in her voice, Richards says she was thrilled at the results of the election.
“I'm really looking forward to representing and protecting the community for another four years,” Richards said.
While she will be on the ballot for a fourth term in the November general election, Richards said she has not heard any rumblings of a Democratic challenger in that race.
With the ratio of votes nearly 2-to-1 in her favor, Richards, a 21-year veteran of the prosecutor's office, said she figured it was a pretty good margin of victory. She noted that Loomis didn't make up much ground in comparison with the 2002 election.
She thanked all those who campaigned and supported her. “It was very humbling and very gratifying,” she said.
Loomis, who worked as the chief deputy prosecutor under Richards' predecessor, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night and reportedly did not appear at Allen County GOP headquarters.
He is a lawyer in private practice in Fort Wayne. This was his fifth unsuccessful run for office.