Elkhart County judges announce they will not seek re-election

Two Elkhart County judges announced they will not run for re-election.
Posted on Jan. 8, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Two Elkhart County judges announced they will not seek re-election this year, opening the doors to new candidates in the area.

Superior Court 4 Judge Olga Stickel announced in a press release she plans to retire in December after more than 36 years in public service.

“I am grateful to have had a chance to serve a wonderful community in a job that I loved,” she said in a statement. “I hope that over the years some lives have been touched in a positive way.”

Stickel worked as judge of Goshen City Court before being appointed judge in Elkhart County in 1984. With the help of her staff, she worked on more than 300,000 cases in the last 29 years, Stickel said in a press release.

“It is my intention to provide any assistance required to the next judge of this court, whoever that may be,” Stickel said. “And my hope is that he or she will find this job to be as fulfilling as I have.”

Superior Court 3 Judge George Biddlecome announced in press release he plans to “pursue other interests.”

“I have been blessed with a wonderful staff and colleagues on the bench and in other walks of life who have made the performance of my duties easier and more pleasurable.”

Biddlecome has served on the bench in Superior Court 3 for more than 17 years over three terms.

Goshen City Judge Gretchen Hess Lund announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for Judge of Elkhart County Superior Court 4 for the primary election May 6.

Lund has served as Goshen City Court judge since 2008, handling all criminal misdemeanor, traffic infraction and ordinance violation cases that go through the city, according to her press release.

Lund also serves as an adjunct professor at Goshen College and Indiana University South Bend. She also regularly serves as a speaker for the Indiana State Court Administration, providing instruction to other Indiana city and town court judges on how to effectively administer misdemeanor and traffic-related cases, according to a press release.

Lund is the 2014 Goshen Bar Association president and serves on the Board of Directors for the IU Health Goshen Hospital Health System, Goshen Salvation Army and Miss Elkhart County Scholarship Program.

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