By percentage of votes, it was one of the closer races of Tuesday’s primary election.
Tim Cain garnered 55.6 percent of the vote, 2,101 in all, to top incumbent county prosecutor Jeff Wible, who finished with 44.4 percent, totaling 1,679 votes.
Cain, who left the prosecutor’s office 12 years ago, is looking forward to returning to his former office. “I’m very pleased, overall,” Cain said. “A lot of people worked very hard to get me elected.”
Although Cain said it’s too early to derive lessons from the election results, “One thing is clear, if elected officials ever forget we work for the public, this is how they remind us,” Cain said. “After January 1, I will remember I work at the pleasure of the public.”
He also had a message for those who are likely to find themselves on the opposite side of the table from him. “Let criminals know LaGrange County is not the place to commit crimes,” Cain said, adding he has a reputation for being hard on crime.
Cain sees jury trials starting again after the first of the year. “My personal philosophy is to need to have jury trials,” he said. “It keeps your skills sharp, but it sends a message to criminals that you will serve time. And it’s a good way for the public to assess how well the prosecutor is doing.”
Cain has long had a close relationship with law enforcement, even serving as a reserve deputy in Noble County. He will have a new sheriff, Jeff Campos, to work with. He is familiar with Campos, having had a jury trial where Campos was the investigative officer. “I think we’ll get along very well,” Cain stated.
Another change will be working with a new Superior Court judge. “I grew up as a trial lawyer with Judge Brown,” Cain recalled. He admits there will be a learning curve working with Lisa Bowen-Slaven, who won Tuesday’s primary, but Cain said he plans to sit down before the first of the year and talk with her to get to know her and her legal philosophy.
For the current prosecutor, Jeff Wible, Tuesday’s result was a surprise. “I didn’t foresee that result coming,” Wible said. “That’s the public’s judgment and it should be respected.”
Wible feels the public made “made an informed choice. We made an effort to explain to the public what we have done over the last 11½ years,” he said. “We leave the office in better shape than we found it.”
He is especially pleased with how the office has tackled child support over the years. “I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the ladies in that office,” he said. “The more we collect, the less the public pays to subsidize broken families.”
“I want to thank the public for the opportunity to serve them for over 12 years,” Wible added. “I’m sure there are brighter days ahead and I look forward to finding them.”