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Candidates for Miami County Prosecuting Attorney

Republican Christian (Chris) Sands

Christian Sands

Christian Sands, 54, has announced he will run for Miami County prosecutor.

Age: 55

Family: Wife, Tawna Sands; step sons, Nicholas and Zachary Leffel

Work: Includes nearly 14 years of prosecution experience. In addition: private practice of Fern, Grund and Sands, and private practice Sands and Michaud; owner of Logan Game Sales, Inc.

Education: B.S. Ball State University, 1986 (with honors); Valparaiso University School of Law, 1989

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

Like every other county in the state, we are experiencing an opiate crisis. In short, it would behoove prosecutors from the contiguous counties to come together on a regular basis to exchange information and work as a team to vigorously attack the source(s) of this poison and not concerning ourselves with "who gets the credit". And once we identify, apprehend and charge these individuals, we prosecute them to the fullest extent the law permits.

Further, there is a need, in my view, to change the way in which cases are distributed and handled within the office. When you have one deputy managing a caseload of 1,400 in a two year period, while another deputy is managing a mere 78 cases during the same time frame, this is simply ridiculous. To maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, a more balanced and perhaps targeted caseload for each deputy is necessary.

The taxpayers of Miami County pay for and deserve a prosecutor’s office that will maximize fully its limited resources in a manner that best protects the community and minimizes the chance of a dangerous offender slipping through the cracks of our criminal justice system.

Republican Jeff Sinkovics

Jeff Sinkovics

Jeff Sinkovics

Age: 49

Family: I've been married to Karla Murphy Sinkovics for 18 years. We have three children, Evan, Maegan and Jenna.

Work: Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Miami County

Education: B. A. Indiana University-Bloomington, 1990; Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law, 1993.

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

The biggest issue facing Miami County is the drug crisis. I have a two pronged plan of attack to fight this. One, I will send drug dealers that are poisoning our community to prison. I have the jury trial experience to do this. I have tried all level of drug dealing cases to juries under the last three elected prosecuting attorneys. Promises won't put dealers in prison, jury trials will. Additionally, I have made myself available to law enforcement 24/7, 7 days a week. Drug dealers don't work 9 to 5. In fact, most deals are made after hours. Law enforcement officers need assistance with legal advice and getting warrants at the time these deals are happening, not the next day. This availability is essential to effectively combat the drug problem. I also plan to utilize a drug court which has been proven effective in providing treatment for drug users and to provide treatment options for addicts.

The second area of concern is violent crime. I have the jury trial experience to put violent criminals in prison where they belong. I have successfully tried to juries all levels of violent crimes, including murder, aggravated batteries involving shootings, stabbings, fatal operating while intoxicated and more.

Candidates for Miami County Coroner

Republican John Boyer

John Boyer

John Boyer

Age: not provided

Family: Wife, Carole; three sons, Matthew, Nathan, Samuel; and one daughter, Abbie

Work: Full-time farmer, EMT at Duke’s Memorial Hospital, deputy coroner for 10 years

Education: Associates degree, mediolegal death investigator

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

A coroner deals with families at the worst possible time, during the loss of a loved one. This is challenging for any person. I wish to make this difficult time as helpful to families as possible. I feel that with sufficient training, all our deputy coroners will also be extremely good in this area.

We are also updating paperwork policies so that we stay current and accountable in all areas of the coroner’s office. I will work hard to face and manage each challenge as it is presented and solve problems in a timely and efficient manner.

The biggest need for the coroner’s office is to update our new morgue. The morgue was previously located in Duke’s Memorial Hospital. Due to changes and renovations, the morgue had been moved to the Miami County jail. This is a good move and will make the morgue assessable to all the county funeral homes. Thanks to the help of the county commissioners, funds have been allotted to make needed changes and updates. Also, there is a need to have deputy coroners. People should not have wait for hours for a coroner. If we have several deputy coroners this will eliminate wait time if a coroner is on another case or possibly out of the county. This will serve the citizens more efficiently and compassionately.

Republican Dr. Jon E. Reibly

Jon Reibly

Jon Reibly

Age: 54

Family: Parents, Kenneth and Nancy Reibly. Coming from a dedicated family of six children, my sister, Mary Betzner, is the current president of the Miami County Republican Women's Club. After returning home, I met another lifelong resident and married, Lisa McKinley Reibly, for 10 years. Because of circumstances we have no children, but are pet advocates of four.

Work: Born and raised in Miami County, I began my own chiropractic practice right after graduation in 1992. I am now in my 26th year of practice at the Reibly Chiropractic Clinic located at 210 Boulevard (next door to Dukes Memorial Hospital) and staff physician at Dukes Hospital. Specializing in sports biomechanics, I was employed by the Indianapolis Indians/Cincinnati Reds professional baseball club for 10 years from 1993 - 2002.

Education: After completing multiple career directions, I graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri, in December 1992. Completing a sports career in undergraduate studies, I also graduated from Indiana State University with a bachelor's degree in health education sciences and hold an associate’s degree in business administration/accounting. Personal experiences and injuries redirected my career, and a brief teaching career led me to my professional doctrine in chiropractic sciences, for which I practice today.

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

Dedication to service with compassion and office transparency are my immediate concerns for this office. Representing the citizens of Miami County in the time of need and crisis has to be my main concern. My dedication for this office grew when I had to immediately respond in the time of crisis for which I was the lone witness to a life changing emergency in Miami County. After that experience with the coroner's office, I felt that there was a need to revise the current coroner's office services and response in the time of crisis. It also has been brought to my attention as for the development of the Miami County morgue and its need for some work and improvement of the physical office. Once in office, I would reach out to numerous agencies and organizations seeking their input in the improvements to make E.M.A. responders lives easier in the time of crisis. I also have reached out to current professional chiropractic colleague and current Kokomo Coroner Steve Seele, and plan to open local communications and ensure that all sudden and unexpected deaths are thoroughly investigated and correspondence is essential. If elected, I will bring the most up-to-date educational training to the Miami County Coroner's Office.

Candidates for Miami County Sheriff

Republican Richard (Rick) Brown

Rick Brown

Rick Brown currently serves as a ISP sergeant at the Peru post.

Age: 59

Family: Wife, Kim L. (Garver) Brown; two adult daughters, Ashley Brown and Felicia (Brown) Rupp; and four grandchildren.

Work: Indiana State Police District #16 (Peru)

Education: Antioch High School, Air Force Academy, Indiana State Police Academy, North Western Traffic Institute, University of Louisville Command Officer’s Development.

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

There is no question that the issue of opioid and illegal drugs and all the secondary problems that goes along with their use is foremost on everyone’s mind. It is an issue that must be dealt with. I will attack the issue in three phases.

(A) We must educate through drug awareness programs. This can be done with trained drug enforcement and drug recognition experts. We will educate our schools, churches and other non-profit organizations that request our service. Try to prevent the problem before it starts.

(B) Enforcement. We will seek out and arrest anyone that is in possession, manufacturing or under the influence of any drug.

(C) Treatment. I would like to partner with the prosecutor, the courts, probation and other community outreach programs. I would like to see treatment available to those offenders who are caught in the cycle of addiction and offer assistance to those that really want to break that cycle and offer assistance to them at a cost they can afford.

The second issue is returning to the basics in community service. Many of our residents throughout Miami County live in areas that do not have full-time law enforcement officers. This does not mean they shouldn’t be afforded the same type of police and public service provided to the residents who choose to live in our incorporated cities.

Republican Gary Glassburn

Gary Glassburn

Gary Glassburn

Age: 54

Family: Married 29 years to Michelle (Anderson) Glassburn; two children, daughter, Carlee Glassburn Cook and her husband, Andrew, and son, Garrett, who is a senior at Maconaquah.

Work: Captain of Enforcement and Investigations for the Miami County Sheriff’s Office

Education: Maconaquah High School and the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

As in any part of this country, drug abuse is an issue in Miami County. First, we must have a full-time task force team in place to combat the influx of drugs coming into our area. Strong enforcement is a deterrent for bad behavior. Some individuals, unfortunately, will never get out of the vicious cycle of drug abuse, but we must not stop there. We must continually offer options to help those who need and/or want help. Many times an offender will bond out of a local jail and want help for their drug addiction. If they have no resources, such as insurance for treatment or a strong support group, they are back where they started. I will continually work for these individuals and seek ways to provide options for them.

Secondly, a concern rising for most county jails is mental health treatment, or the lack thereof. In most cases, the last place an individual with mental illness needs to be is in a county jail. Most facilities are not prepared or trained to deal with these situations, but resources are limited. As sheriff I will continually work with our state representatives and the Indiana Sheriff’s Association to find solutions to further mental health treatment.

Republican Edward L. Graber

Ed Graber

Ed Graber

Age: 64

Family: Wife of 43 years, Debra; children, Nicole, Andrea, Danielle and Cullen; grandchildren, Bryar, Bradan, Gabe, Brie and Hadlee

Work: Construction contractor and rentals development

Education: High school

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

The safety of residents and their property will be my highest priority. I plan to increase our law enforcement with the start of a reserve deputy program, which will be a fiscally responsible way to keep costs down. Introducing an inmate work program to help inmates gain skills and a sense of self-worth will be another top priority. This will especially help inmates in jail for substance abuse to prevent recidivism. My goal is to "Make Miami County great again". I will use my business administration experience to make fiscally responsible decisions in the sheriff’s office, using your tax dollars in a transparent way that benefits the community. I am a family man, trustworthy and determined to make a difference.

Republican Timothy S. Hunter

Tim Hunter

Tim Hunter

Age: 63

Family: Wife, Debra, of 40 year; daughter and son-in-law, Angie and Nick Jackson; son, Alan Hunter; grandson, Matthew Jackson

Work: Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy/Court Security

Education: Graduated from Peru High School and Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, along with hundreds of law enforcement training hours.

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

The first issue I’d like to address would be strengthening communication within the sheriff’s office. I would focus on employees working together so that the department runs properly both inside and outside in the community. I would make sure the sheriff’s office and jail run in an efficient manner and provides safety and security for Miami County.

The second issue I would work toward would be to prepare and train more extensively in the event of a major emergency crisis in Miami County. I would like to work with other agencies and school administrators to develop an effective emergency response plan for any major emergency that may arise within Miami County. Working in and alongside our local community is imperative in being successful and effective with this issue.

Candidates for Miami County Commissioner District 3

Republican Keith (Fred) Musselman

Age: 54

Work: Farmer

Education: Purdue short course

Family: Wife, Pam; children, Kyle, Ryan, Amy Lynn and Ty; and four grandchildren with one on the way

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

I will be financially responsible. I hope to be able to see that our roads are getting improved. Also, hope see county tiles get some attention.

Democrat Bryce Runkle

Age: 39

Work: Attorney

Education: Oberlin College, B.A.; University of Texas, J.D.

I believe that the spacing requirements for windmills need to be significantly increased and should run from the borders of the property so that a small landowner does not have to suffer the noise and shadow of his neighbor’s windmill without receiving any of the financial benefit. I fully support the amendments to the windmill ordinances recommended by the Miami County Planning and Building Commission but tabled by the Miami County Commissioners. The amendments are an appropriate balance protecting the rights of all residents. If elected I will work to see that these proposed amendments are fully adopted.

I also believe that the current road crew garage project is an irresponsible misuse of tax payer’s money. While the road crews undoubtedly deserve and need upgraded facilities, cheaper solutions exist. We don’t need a fancy $5 million facility to park our trucks. Further, it is common sense to have more than one location in a county that is as long as Miami County. The gas savings and mileage savings of having more than one location are significant. If elected, I will provide the road crews with the upgrades they need without wasting $5 million of taxpayer’s money.

Candidates for Miami County Council District 1

Republican Richard Wood did not respond to the questionnaire.

Democrat Samie McFadden did not respond to the questionnaire.

Candidates for Miami County Council District 2

Republican Ralph Duckwall II

Age: Not provided

Work: Insurance sales

Education: Purdue University, BS in agriculture economics; Purdue Ag School of Banking

Family: Wife, Leigh; children, Ralph Duckwall III (Melissa), Shauna Duckwall Ferreira (Alex), Charles Duckwall (Ashlyn); eight grandchildren

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

Miami County has seen some difficult financial times in recent years. Many changes have been made and the county’s finances have improved. The tendency for government is to start relaxing spending practices when times are good and then make draconian-like budget cuts when things are tough. Our challenge now is to see that budgets are fair for each department and that total spending is within our means while simultaneously keeping an eye out for future economic downturns. The other big challenge for the county is to keep the local economy growing through economic development. This is a job that is shared largely by the commissioners, County Council and Miami County Economic Development Corp., but also by the citizens. Opportunities to improve Miami County rely on every business and person as well as the government working together to make our community an amazing place to live.

Candidates for Miami County Council District 3

Republican Dick Wiles

Age: 76

Work: Retired firefighter

Family: Wife Juanita; children, Deborah, Pamela, Kimberly

Education: High school

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

1. We had a time two or three years ago when we struggled with finances. Since then we have been doing pretty well. I want to be a part to see that we continue to see we manage our finances well, and still do the things that needs to be done .

2. Like everyone else, I would like to see businesses do well and do what we need to attract people to our county.

Candidates for Miami County Council District 4

Republican Bryan Nutt

Age: 54

Family: Wife, Brenda, two sons, Craig and Kale, two daughters, Kristi and Kae, two grandkids.

Work: Farmer and local truck driver

Education: Graduated from North Miami High School, served in the Army.

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

The biggest issue is excessive spending of tax payer’s money. We need lower spending. I’m also against the wind farm being proposed in the county.

Republican Joshua Francis did not respond to the questionnaire.

Democrat Lynette Boswell Smith did not respond to the questionnaire.

Candidates for Miami County Assessor

Republican Karen LeMaster

Age: 57

Work: Miami County Assessor’s Office since 2008; and Township Assessor from 2004-2008

Education: Graduated from Haworth High School, 1979; and IUK with a bachelor of general studies, 1990

Family: Married to Dale LeMaster; two sons, Tyler LeMaster, Oklahoma, and Ryan LeMaster

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

The first issue that our office faces is keeping up with the changes that the state makes regarding how we assess and the deadlines that we have that the State has moved forward. I will empower our employees to take continuing education and training to improve themselves and our office. I take deadlines seriously and will do whatever is necessary to meet the changing deadlines that are required by the state.

The second issue is how to be a good steward with the funds available for our department. I will look closely at our budget and contracts to make sure we’re being fiscally responsible.

Candidates for Miami County Clerk of Courts

Republican Sherry Raber

Age: 38

Work: Bookkeeper and 1st Deputy Clerk at Miami County Clerk’s Office

Education: Some college

Family: Single mother of two daughters, 20 and 13

What are the two biggest issues facing candidates for the seat you are seeking, and how will you address them?

One of the biggest challenges that will face the new county clerk is the new case management system, Odyssey. This system will be a complete overhaul for all the court staff, including the clerk’s office. This system is the beginning of the process to become paperless. The new clerk will have to be at the forefront of the system being able to answer questions and problem solve. I have had the opportunity to see the program and learn about how it operates and I am confident that I will be able to help with any issues that may arise.

The new clerk will also have to be able to “roll with the punches,” if you will, and adapt to any situation. The court system and clerk’s office is something that is constantly changing, rather it be new laws coming in or old laws changing. The clerk has to be aware of all the changes according to the law so they could be implemented in the office.

Miami County Surveyor

Republican Gregg Wilkinson did not respond to the questionnaire.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.