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Elkhart County primaries see incumbents retain seats

Election workers bring in ballots from vote centers to the Elkhart County Administration Building in Goshen on May 7, 2024.
Marek Mazurek/WVPE
Election workers bring in ballots from vote centers to the Elkhart County Administration Building in Goshen on May 7, 2024.

On a night that saw only a few contested primaries in Elkhart County, incumbents for county commissioner and statehouse won against more conservative challengers.

Suzanne Weirick retained her party’s nomination as county commissioner, brushing aside a challenge from Goshen accountant Steve Boussom. Weirick continues her campaign for a third term as commissioner for District 3. She's just the second woman to be elected as an Elkhart County Commissioner and the first to serve more than one term.

Boussom, in addition to challenger Shayne LaCounte, who dropped out before election night, had sought to position themselves as more conservative than Weirick, but she won handily with 59% of the vote.

Weirick’s campaign manager Carol McDowell told WVPE that Weirick was with family and couldn't speak to reporters on Tuesday night. In a statement attributed to Weirick, the commissioner said, "I am grateful to the voters of Elkhart County for recognizing my love of our community. I look forward to moving Elkhart county into the future.”

Another Republican incumbent facing a primary challenger was State Rep. Joanna King. King bested former marketing manager Cindi Hajicek 65-35 for the District 49 seat in Middlebury.

Though King was a co-sponsor on and voted for the house bill which banned almost all abortions in Indiana, Hajicek attacked King on the issue for voting against an amendment to that bill which would have outlawed abortion in all cases.

In other contested Republican races, Cynthia Chadwell beat Patty Pickens for Elkhart county treasurer and current coroner Merv Miller beat challenger James Egnor.

In Elkhart County Council contests, Ben Haviland's candidacy was challenged for not voting in the two previous Republican primaries and he did not appear on the ballot. That lead to incumbents Adam Bujalski, Steven Clark and Thomas Stump facing an uncontested election for the county's three at-large council spots.

Elkhart County Clerk Chris Anderson put the county's turnout rate at just under 15%, which is down from 21% in the 2020 primary.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.