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Incumbent Republican Carl Baxmeyer holds on to District 1 St. Joseph County Commissioner seat

St. Joseph County Commissioners President Carl Baxmeyer speaks during an Oct. 7 press conference he called to discuss the third-party election integrity investigation.
Jakob Lazzaro
/
WVPE
St. Joseph County Commissioners President Carl Baxmeyer speaks during an Oct. 7 press conference he called to discuss the third-party election integrity investigation.

Incumbent Republican St. Joseph County Commissioners President Carl Baxmeyer has held on to his district 1 seat, defeating Democrat Don Westerhausen and independent candidate Kevin Conery.

Baxmeyer won the Republican primary in May to replace outgoing commissioner Andy Kostielney but entered the November general election with the advantage of incumbency after he was appointed in August to serve the remainder of Kostielney’s term.

Several days later, Baxmeyer was elected the president of the commissioners in a 2 to 1 vote, sparking an ongoing feud with commissioner Derek Dieter.

That feud deepened in the past month after Baxmeyer approved an election integrity investigation spearheaded by himself into how Democratic County Clerk Rita Glenn’s office stored and processed absentee ballots in the May primary.

Republicans allege Glenn broke the law — she is currently under investigation by the Indiana State Police — but Democrats criticized Baxmeyer’s actions as a politically motivated attack designed to sow distrust in the voting process.

The state and county GOP later filed a lawsuit against the Democratic members of the county election board, arguing that it improperly delegated powers to Glenn for the November 2022 election.

Baxmeyer and commissioner Deb Fleming then voted to hire a law firm at a rate of up to $450 an hour to “monitor” the suit. As of election day, there has not been a ruling in the case.

A retired cardiologist, Westerhausen previously challenged incumbent Republican Dale DeVon for Indiana State House district 5 in 2018 and 2020.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.