Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
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Elkhart Truth editorial board sounds off on the races ahead of Tuesday's vote

You can agree or disagree with what they have to say, but remember to cast your ballot on Election Day.

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 11:25 a.m.

Monday May 5, 2014

The Elkhart Truth editorial board analyzed the key races (scroll down) that'll be on the ballot Tuesday.

Specifically, they reviewed the candidates in the District 48 and District 22 races for the Indiana House, the Democratic race for the 2nd District U.S. House seat and the race for the Elkhart Superior Court 3 race.

Those on the editorial board doing the analyses were Publisher Brandon Erlacher, Editor Greg Halling, Managing Editor Marshall King, Digital Content Director Ryan Martin and News Editor Terry Mark. (I stick to the reporter role and didn't take part.).

Look here, the resting spot for links to the individual candidate reviews. Or keep on reading — I've cut and pasted the individual reviews in the name of getting the word out about the races, the candidates. I take no stance on the editorial board analyses.

Agree or disagree with the assessments below. "Our intent was to provide one more piece of data that you could use to make a decision May 6," says the introduction by the editorial board to the candidate assessments. You ultimately make your selection in the ballot box.

U.S. House, 2nd District

Four Democrats are vying to replace U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, the Republican incumbent, who's going for her second term. Here's the editorial board analyses of the quartet:

Joe Bock

STRENGTHS: An ardent and articulate candidate. Moderate views, pragmatic temperament offer a real contrast to the incumbent, Republican Jackie Walorski. Former lawmaker. On the faculty at Notre Dame.

WEAKNESSES: Would've been nice to see him debate Morrison, but it's understandable why he didn't.

Doug Carpenter

STRENGTHS: Articulate and well-intentioned.

WEAKNESSES: Doesn't stand a chance. Would make a good candidate for the Indiana General Assembly.

Bob Kern


WEAKNESSES: A guy who doesn't live in the district he wants to serve isn't a serious candidate.

Dan Morrison

STRENGTHS: Strong ties to Elkhart. Sincere in his desire to serve. Understands business.

WEAKNESSES: More than happy to burn bridges with the party, which would hurt his ability to serve effectively.

Indiana House, District 48

Three Republicans are running to replace incumbent Rep. Tim Neese, who isn't seeking re-election.

Jesse Bohannon

STRENGTHS: Dedicated teacher at local alternative school.

WEAKNESSES: Made recycled talk radio views on the evil nature of liberals the centerpiece of his campaign. You'd represent them in Indianapolis, too.

Adam Bujalski

STRENGTHS: Valuable background in banking. Seems willing to work across party lines. Realistic view on civil unions.

WEAKNESSES: Lack of experience in elected government.

Doug Miller

STRENGTHS: Extensive business background. Strong ties to the community. Thoughtful.

WEAKNESSES: Not much to distinguish him from the other leading Republican in the race, Adam Bujalski.

Indiana House, District 22

Incumbent Rebecca Kubacki faces a challenge from Curt Nisly in the Republican primary. The winner faces Democrat David Kolbe next November. Here's a look at the Republicans:

Rebecca Kubacki

STRENGTHS: A conservative who gets things done. Considers the issues and refuses to take knee-jerk positions. Careful with the public's money.

WEAKNESSES: Can do a better job sometimes of explaining her positions.

Curt Nisly

STRENGTHS: Fiery tea party support.

WEAKNESSES: See above. Also, troubling 2012 musings about secession emerged on Twitter. Tweet since deleted, candidate "seems to remember it." Not very reassuring.

Elkhart Superior Court 3 judgeship

Four Republicans are running for the post, to be vacated by Judge George Biddlecome, who isn't seek re-election.

Teresa Cataldo

STRENGTHS: Experience administering a court. Deeply involved in the community. Also, diversity in the courts is a good thing.

WEAKNESSES: Background in criminal law isn't as strong as David Francisco's. Not much trial experience.

David Francisco

STRENGTHS: Sharp legal mind. Advanced quickly in the Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office. Creative approaches to challenges faced by Superior Court 3.

WEAKNESSES: Although he's worked here since 2005, he only moved from Granger to Elkhart last year. As a result, it's hard to say how deep his roots extend in Elkhart County.

Andrew Hicks

STRENGTHS: Active in the community. Solid reputation.

WEAKNESSES: More of a question than a weakness — how will he stand up to the pressure of running a high-stakes courtroom?

Fay Schwartz

STRENGTHS: Deep roots in the community. Thinks creatively — advocates for a drug court. Work in public defender's office provides valuable perspective.

WEAKNESSES: Extremely low-key.

Get out and vote!

Other races are on the ballot Tuesday, many uncontested.

Also on the ballot for voters in the cash-strapped Elkhart and Concord school districts will be referendum questions asking for property tax hikes to generate funds to offset losses due to property tax caps.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.

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