March 04, 2014
Last week, the Hendricks County Young Republicans welcomed judicial candidates to our February meeting. Roughly 75 people showed up to hear from eight prospective office holders. There are two positions for voters across the county to consider: Superior Court 2 and the 55th Circuit Court. Both feature open seats, as current justices have decided not to seek re-election.
In Superior Court 2, the three candidates vying for office are Paul A. Hadley, Rhett M. Stuard, and Herb D. Witham. The 55th Circuit Court has five people on the ballot, including Suzanne X. Conger, Annie Fierek, Mark O’Hara, Eric M. Oliver, and Dan Zielinski. All eight office seekers were each given three minutes to address the room about their candidacy.
It was great to have the candidates in attendance. It exemplifies a real dedication and passion about their campaign from each. The overwhelming attendance from the audience is also a good sign. Much like the packed house the Young Republicans pulled last month when we welcomed our candidates for sheriff, there is wide interest in these elections. Aside from being great publicity for our club, it shows many will vote with an educated opinion in a few months.
Making an informed decision can be difficult in judicial races. Unlike legislators, candidates for judge do not have say over crafting hot button issues such as tax policy or education reform, which attract media interest. Thus it can be a chore for voters to decipher what separates the candidates and who is “best” for the job. They tend to rely on feel after getting to know about the people, both professionally and personally. Forums such as ours give voters an opportunity to know the candidates better and ask important judicial philosophy questions which are important when sitting on the bench.
While judges do not make the law, they have a very important job, which is to ensure it is followed by both citizens and governments. They play a vital role in the conducting of fair and impartial hearings, which has been a key part of the checks and balances our nation has relied upon since its founding.
Hendricks County voters have eight choices for two spots in our judicial system. The decisions are very important. There are eight strong men and women to choose from. I want to thank them all for attending our recent Young Republicans event. It was a pleasure to get to know each, and I look forward to learning more about their candidacies and philosophies in the coming months.
Rob Kendall serves as Vice Chair of the Hendricks County Young Republicans. Follow the YRs on Twitter at @YRHendricks!
Published on March 2nd, 2014