A Republican caucus handed Paul Lagemann a seat on the Allen County Council.
Lagemann was chosen Saturday to replace Joel Benz who resigned this month from the 3rd District seat that covers northwest Allen County. Benz left the council after being hired as Three Rivers Ambulance Authority's executive director.
Lagemann defeated Lindsay Hannah by a 32 to 19 vote among precinct committee members at Allen County Republican Headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne.
Steve Shine, the party's chairman, said several people expressed interest in running for the seat, but only Lagemann and Hannah filed with the Allen County Election Board by Wednesday's deadline.
"It was one of the smoothest caucuses we've ever had," Shine said, adding that Lagemann will need to run for the four-year seat again during the May primary before facing off against a Democratic opponent in the general election next November.
"Both of the candidates have impeccable credentials, so the real winners are the residents."
The Allen County Council is the county's fiscal body. It sets the overall county budget and reviews the budgets and levies of local cities, towns and townships. This year, council members will earn just under $19,000.
District council members serve four-year terms and usually are selected by voters in their districts, but a caucus saved the county election costs, Shine said.
The caucus winner had to receive one vote over 50%.
Lagemann, government affairs liaison at Clean Fuels National, said he hopes to establish a small business advisory committee to better engage local companies who he said are sometimes ignored.
Lagemann also believes special attention should be given to northern Allen County because of its growth.
That makes Brandon Seifert happy.
The Republican is a member of Huntertown's Town Council and redevelopment commission. Officials in the northwest Allen County municipality expect it to gain about 50% more residents in the next several years.
The community probably will see a spike in commercial and manufacturing businesses offering more shopping and jobs as well.
Seifert, who was among the caucus participants, said he is confident with Lagemann leading.
"This is old hat for Paul," Seifert said, citing Lagemann's experience working on the congressional staffs of Rep. Jim Banks and former U.S. senator Dan Coats.
Hannah, director of corporate investment at Greater Fort Wayne, congratulated Lagemann and earlier promised to stay on the Republican political scene "because I believe I was called to do this."
Name: Paul Lagemann
Political affiliation: Republican
Job: Government affairs liaison at Clean Fuels National
Family: Father of four; wife, Andie