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One incumbent survives May primary

Five LaGrange County incumbents faced challengers in Tuesday’s May Primary election, and only one came out on top.

LaGrange County Circuit Court Judge Scott VanDerbeck held off challenger Larry Helmer, taking nearly 60 percent of the vote. Judge VanDerbeck had 2,225 votes to Helmer’s 1,550.

LaGrange County Superior Court Judge George Brown lost in his bid to run for re-election in the November election as challenger Lisa Bowen-Slaven won Tuesday. Bowen-Slaven took 2,263 votes, nearly 60 percent, to Judge Brown’s 1,534 votes.

The race between current prosecutor Jeff Wible and his challenger, Tim Cain, was closer, with Cain getting 2,101 votes for 55.6 percent of the vote. Wible had 1,679 votes.

A three-way race for LaGrange County Commissioner-North District kept the votes close, but still saw incumbent Garry Heller garner only enough votes for second behind outgoing sheriff Terry Martin. Martin received 41.5 percent of the vote with 1,567 votes. Heller was 10 points back at 31 percent with 1,196. David Nelson was in a close third with 1,016 votes for 27 percent.

And incumbent LaGrange County Council member Richard Yoder lost his seat to Harold Gingerich. Gingerich had 425 votes in the third district, good enough for 60 percent of the vote. Yoder had 274 votes cast in his favor.

The three-way sheriff’s race went to current Chief Deputy Jeff Campos, who ended the night with 1,542 votes to take 39.9 percent of the vote. Randy Mellinger had 36 percent of the votes, with 1,389, and Richard Snyder had 24 percent with 934 votes total.

Other contested races around the county included:

Johnson Township Trustee – John Russell, 218 votes; Dalonda Young, 193 votes; Cynthia Jordan, 109 votes.

Springfield Township Trustee – Debra Notestine, 146 votes; Zachary Holsinger, 87 votes.