The Journal Gazette
 
 
Thursday, October 28, 2021 1:00 am

2 in GOP vying for County Council

Caucus on Saturday to pick Benz's replacement

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

A Republican caucus will vote Saturday on which of two candidates will take over an open Allen County Council seat.

The caucus was announced after Joel Benz resigned this month from the 3rd District seat, which covers northwest Allen County. Benz, who has worked as a paramedic for years, resigned after he was hired as Three Rivers Ambulance Authority's executive director.

The caucus consisting of 57 precinct committee members will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Allen County Republican Headquarters downtown. Steve Shine, the party's chairman, said he initially had several people interested in running for the seat, but two candidates filed with the Allen County Election Board by Wednesday's deadline.

The precinct members will choose between Lindsay Hannah, director of corporate investment at Greater Fort Wayne, and Paul Lagemann, government affairs liaison at Clean Fuels National. The candidates have until Friday morning to request changes to the rules of the caucus.

Shine said he doesn't expect any changes, unless the candidates ask for more time to speak. Each candidate gets three minutes to address the caucus.

The winner is required to receive one more vote than 50%.

“Unless there is a tie, I expect the race will be decided on the first and only ballot,” Shine said.

Shine said caucuses are an orderly way to fill a vacancy in an elected position.

“Certainly, it is a huge, huge cost-saving process in which to fill a vacancy,” he said. “To have a special election every time there is a vacancy would cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

He said there is also excitement surrounding the caucus because of the effect the elected official will have.

“The seat is a very important seat because it represents constituents in northern Allen County in an area which is without question the fastest-developing area of the county,” he said. “It is quite an important slot to fill.”

dfilchak@jg.net


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