What does “Non-Partisan” mean?

               “What does ‘non-partisan’ mean?” I was asked recently.   "That means, not affiliated with a political party", I replied.  It was a relevant question to ask, as all who have seen ballots for the General Election know.  We have three non-partisan issues on the ballot and one issue where political affiliation is not directly involved.  The latter is the question of retention of two judges of the Indiana Court of Appeals, Edward W. Najam, Jr. and Patricia A. Riley.  While the judges were appointed by a partisan Governor, they are not running for re-election on a partisan ballot.  If the voters say no to their retention, the judicial nominating process will begin anew with potential nominees being reviewed by their peers and a group of three recommended for the Governor’s appointment. 

                Proposed Constitutional Amendments are not partisan issues.  The proposal to amend Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution on the ballot this year requires a “yes” or “no” response regardless of the voter’s decisions on party-sponsored candidates for Federal, State and local offices. 

                The two referenda on the ballot this year are non-partisan.  The Northeast Dubois school question and the Jasper Library question are not tied to political parties.

                School Board races are non-partisan.  The candidates for county school board seats do not run as party candidates. 

                While the supporters of non-partisan issues may be using the same tactics as political parties, eg., yard signs, rallies, advertising, there is, and should be a separation between partisan and non-partisan issues.   

                Republican candidates are vitally concerned about the non-partisan questions of the day.  Each will make decisions based on their own independent judgements of the issues, not on a partisan political platform. 

                I urge everyone to vote.  There are critical choices to be made about the people to lead our county, State and National governments.  Partisan choices.  My party will stand behind the performance of Republican officeholders.  Important choices are to be made on the non-partisan issues of the day as well.  Let me paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to vote”.

Don Hayes

Dubois County Republican Party Chairman

Blessinger to Seek Commissioner Seat

215132_j5a5035crp            Dubois County Treasurer, Chad Blessinger, will run for the office of Dubois County Commissioner representing District #1.  There are three commissioner districts in Dubois County.  District #1 consists of Boone, Columbia, Harbison, Madison and Patoka Townships.  A candidate for the office must live in the district but is elected by all of the county’s voters. 

            “I believe it is time for Dubois County to develop a long term plan for county government.  The county faces many challenges including uncertain revenue, deteriorating infrastructure, and a changing population with changing needs.   We need to take stock of our current situation, use the best research available, and bring together county stakeholders to assess future needs and available resources.  We should meet with representatives of municipalities, townships, school corporations, county government, and State and Federal agencies on a regular basis and maintain an open and collaborative relationship with them.  Transparency for the public and open and forthright communication between units of government should be our goal.  I believe I am the kind of officeholder who can lead our county in this direction.”

            A 1996 graduate of Jasper High School, Chad Blessinger earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Indiana University. During his time in Bloomington, he was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Educational Honor Society.  He is also a member of Sigma Pi International Fraternity.  From 1998-99, Blessinger gave a year of service with AmeriCorp National Civilian Community Corps.  As a Corps member, he worked with homeless and at-risk youth, provided hurricane disaster relief with the American Red Cross, and performed habitat restoration in the Golden Gate NRA, San Francisco.  In 2005, he completed the Real Estate Certification program at the Vincennes University-Jasper Campus.  He earned a Level 1 Assessor-Appraiser Designation in 2014 from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.  Blessinger was also a graduate of the inaugural Dubois County Leadership Academy in 2011.

            In 2001-2002, Blessinger was a third grade teacher in an inner-city Evansville elementary school.  He was a member of the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation Teachers Association.  Blessinger returned to Jasper in 2002 as owner/operator of Shooters Bar & Grill, which he operated until 2005.  He is a past member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the National Association of Realtors.  In 2008, Blessinger was elected to the office of Dubois County Treasurer.  He was re-elected to that office in 2012.

            Blessinger, 38, is a member and past president of the Jasper Lions Club and is a member of the Brosmer House Board of Trustees.  He serves on the local Selective Service Board, NACo Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee, and is a member of the Jasper Outdoor Recreation Association.  He is on the executive committee of the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council and has served as treasurer of that organization.  Blessinger is also an IHSAA licensed official and enjoys officiating local youth sporting events. 

            Chad Blessinger is the son of the late Greg and Linda Blessinger and has one brother, Craig, of Evansville.  He and his wife, Lyn, have a son Dylan and daughter Leanne.  They reside in Harbison Township.

            “I look forward to working with the other Commissioners, County Council members, and county officer holders and employees to improve public access to county services and to provide a responsive and responsible county government.”

             SEE MORE BELOW


The 2016 General Election


In 2016, the following names will appear on the General Election ballot in Dubois County:

U.S. President -- Donald J. Trump

U.S. Vice-President - Mike Pence

U.S. Senator for Indiana -- Todd Young.

U.S. Congressman for the 8th District  -- Dr. Larry Buschon

Indiana Governor -- Eric Holcomb

Indiana Lt. Governor - Suzanne Crouch

Indiana Attorney General - Curtis Hill

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction - Dr. Jennifer McCormick

Indiana State Representative -- District #63 (northern portion of County) Mike Braun
Indiana State Representative -- District #74 (southern portion of County) Lloyd Arnold

Dubois County Superior Court Judge - Mark McConnell

Dubois County Treasurer -- Cathy "Kitty" Merkley

Dubois County Surveyor -- Kenneth Brosmer

Dubois County Commissioner -- District #1 - Chad Blessinger
Dubois County Commissioner -- District #3 - Nick Hostetter
County Commissioners are elected countywide, but must live in the District where they have declared their candidacy.

Dubois County Council At-Large - Sonya Hass, Mike Kluesner and Doug Uebelhor

Information on the GOP County Candidates can be found in earlier posts to this website.

Voter Registration -- The deadline for registering to vote, including changing your name or address on your official record, is Tuesday, October 11th.  You can register, or change your information, online at the Indiana Voters website shown under Links on this website.  This site also identifies your polling location and exactly who is on your ballot by Precinct.

Uebelhor to run for Dubois County Council

doug_uebelhorFormer Dubois County Commissioner Doug Uebelhor announced he will run for the office of Dubois County Council At-Large. Doug is seeking the Republican Party nomination for the seat at the May 3rd Primary election.

Doug has lived in Dubois County his entire life. He is a 1999 graduate of Jasper High School and attended Indiana University Bloomington where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics in 2003. He also earned Elementary Education, Junior High Mathematics, All Grade Computer Education, and Junior & Senior High School Mathematics teaching licenses from Indiana University Bloomington. He is currently employed as an Internal Auditor at Jasper Engines and Transmissions.

Doug is a former Dubois County Commissioner where he served on many county boards including President and Chairman of the 9-1-1 Advisory Board and President and Chairman of the EMA Advisory Board. He initiated and created the Dubois County Health Wellness Committee. He served as a member of the Dubois County Public Health Partnership, Alliance to Promote Education, Solid Waste Management Board, traveling voter board, and Regional Elected Officials Board. Uebelhor has shown his support and encouragement of countywide safety and health awareness through his continued effort to promote and advance these boards and committees. As a Dubois County Commissioner, Doug demonstrated a proven record for positive change by focusing on containing costs and keeping taxes low. He increased county transparency by insisting on audio recording commissioner meetings for accuracy, and he insisted the meetings be accessible to the public. He also initiated a cost savings wellness program for county employees.

As an internal auditor at Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Doug conducts internal process audits and provides company-wide educational classes. Uebelhor has also worked in the position of Branch Auditor at Jasper Engines and Transmissions providing branch operations management and logistic support. Prior to working at Jasper Engines, Doug worked for 7 years at Jasper High School as an educational instructor, summer school teacher, club sponsor, athletic worker, and an in-school tutor.

Doug has shown his leadership and community involvement through his many years of work with Junior Achievement. He completed many EMA training courses to keep the county eligible for Emergency Management Grants and certifications. He attended many AIC training classes, seminars and meetings, served on many boards and committees, completed program management training, and worked as an election poll inspector.

Doug is a life-long member of St Joseph Church in Jasper, where he has been a member of the church choir, server, and volunteer as an usher for mass.

“I would love the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Dubois County as your county councilman. I feel it is time for Dubois County to formulate a long-term financial plan for our county government. I started a cost savings county wellness program and want to continue that fiscally conservative value. I believe sound financial planning will ensure that our county continues to be among the top counties in the state. Our County is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and I want to work hard to make Dubois County a place where people want to come and raise their families. During my time in county government I based all of my decisions on the good of the citizens, and I want to continue to represent the best interests of the county.” Uebelhor said.

Uebelhor’s interests include running, biking, playing volleyball, watching movies, spending time with friends and family, and traveling. Doug has completed many local and statewide half marathons and 5k runs. Recently, Doug completed the RAIN Ride which is a one day, 165 mile bike ride across Indiana and plans to complete the ride again this year.

Kluesner Set to Run for Dubois County Council

2016 Mike Kluesner for County Council At Large

Michael W. Kluesner filed to be a candidate for the Dubois County Council.  Kluesner is seeking the Republican nomination for one of three At Large seats on the Council. 

            Kluesner graduated from Jasper High School in 1968 and received an Associate Degree in Architectural Engineering from Sam’s Technical Institute in 1970.  He served in the Indiana National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve 324th Military Police Prisoner of War Information Unit in Jasper where he retired after 21 years of military service.

             Michael Kluesner is a past owner of Seufert Construction Company located in Ferdinand from 1984-2012, where he served as company president.  During many years in the construction business, numerous projects were developed, constructed and renovated.  One of those projects was the historic renovation of the Dubois County Courthouse in Jasper.  He was also a partner in the Progressive Investment Company and Access Storage, LLC.  His financial interest in both of the companies was sold in 2012 and both companies remain successful local businesses.

            He is a member of Holy Family Church where he serves on the Facilities Management Committee and Bereavement Luncheon Ministry.  Mike has been a member of the American Legion continuously for 44 years and is currently a member of Post 147 in Jasper.  He was a member of the Ferdinand Kiwanis for 28 years serving two separate terms as president.  He was given the Outstanding President Award for his service.

            “With considerable business knowledge and past military experience, I feel uniquely  qualified to hold a seat on the County Council.  My recent retirement gives me time to dedicate to public service.  As a life-long citizen of Dubois County, I am proud of our county and seek the opportunity to give back to my community.  I look forward to working with County Council members, County Commissioners and county employees for the betterment of Dubois County.”

            Kluesner and his wife, Nancy, live in the Maltersville area and have two grown sons, Jarrod and Jonathan.

Sonya Haas to seek Council seat

2016 Sonya Haas for County Council At Large

Sonya Haas has filed to be a candidate for one of the At Large seats on the Dubois County Council.  There are three At Large seats on the council subject to election in 2016, while four seats on the Council were filled in 2014. She is seeking the Republican Party nomination for the seat at the May 3rd Primary election. 

            Sonya Haas lives in St. Anthony with her husband, Neal.  She is a 1990 graduate of Forest Park High School and earned two Associate Degrees in 1992 from Vincennes University-Jasper Campus.  She is employed as the office manager in the office of David A. Bromm, CPA.

            Haas, 44, is a member of the National Rifle Association, St. Anthony Conservation Club and St. Anthony Catholic Church. 

            “In my 23 years with the Bromm office, I have dealt with the Indiana Department of Revenue, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and Indiana Charity Gaming Commission among other government agencies.  I have helped companies and individuals with all manner of licenses, permits, and filings as well as payroll taxes and tax returns.  My experience working with government and taxes will help me contribute to running county government.  I want to stress the importance of good customer service to the taxpayers of our county.”

Merkley files for County Treasurer

Cathy “Kitty” Mer2016 Kitty Merkley for Treasurer (1)kley has filed seeking the Republican nomination for the office of Dubois County Treasurer subject to the May 3rd Primary election.    

Kitty, 47, and her husband, Dennis, live in Madison Township and are the parents of three adult children:  J. Kyle Merkley, a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University now living in Dallas, Texas; Kevin A. Merkley, a member of the United States Air Force; and, Mariya C.L. Merkley, a freshman at Western Kentucky University. 

In 2014, Kitty was elected to serve as the Madison Township Trustee.  She is employed by the Dubois County Health Department as a food safety specialist/financial assistant/clerk. 

Kitty earned a Paralegal Certificate from the American Academy of Paralegal Studies in Chicago, Illinois in 1991.  In 2001, she earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana. 

A dedicated volunteer, Kitty has been active in many school and community organizations.  Following her children through school, she has served in leadership roles in parent-teacher organizations at Fifth Street School, Jasper Middle School and Jasper High School as well as for track and cross country booster clubs.  She served as both Vice-President and President of Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Active both on stage and back stage, she served as a stage manager for three Actors Community Theater productions and was a two-year Board Member.  She is a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority having served as an event chair, Vice-President and President for five years. 

From 2000 to 2011, Kitty used her culinary arts training to build a business as an independent caterer.  In 2008, she opened a contemporary, deli-style restaurant, Let’s Do Lunch, on the Square in Jasper which she operated until it was sold in late 2011. 

“The responsibilities of the Madison Township Trustee include budgeting, accounting, reporting, management and disbursement of public funds, helping residents who need township assistance, and managing all finances for the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department.  This, combined with my diverse background, experience, and proven history of hard work and leadership make me the ideal candidate for the Office of Dubois County Treasurer.  I am firmly committed to serving taxpayers, and have enjoyed doing so in the role of Madison Township Trustee. I am now ready to accept this new challenge, and am anxious to apply my skills and talent to serving the taxpayers of Dubois County.”

Councilman Nick Hostetter to Run for County Commissioner

2016 Nick Hostetter - County CommissionerDubois County Councilman, Nick Hostetter, has announced his intention to run for the office of Dubois County Commissioner representing District #3.  There are three commissioner districts in Dubois County.  District #3 consists of Cass, Ferdinand, Hall, Jackson, Jefferson and Marion Townships.  A candidate for the office must live in the district but is elected by all of the county’s voters. 

            “I’ve really enjoyed my experience on the County Council.  It seems, as time goes on, that I identify more and more issues that call out for action.  Likewise, it seems that many of these issues can be better dealt with if I am serving as a County Commissioner.”

            Hostetter is the owner and manager of Azura Grill and Café in Jasper.  He is a member of the National Restaurant Association, Indiana Restaurant Association, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and Jasper Chamber of Commerce.  Hostetter was elected to the Dubois County Council in 2012.  He is one of three At Large Members on the seven member Council.    

            Nickolas Hostetter graduated from Jasper High School in 1996, and received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Southern Indiana in 2001.  He is a member of the Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition, the Jasper Gun Club, National Rifle Association, and the USI Alumni Association.  He was a 2012 graduate of the Dubois County Leadership Academy and is one of the Dubois County Emerging Leaders. 

             “We need to address our most valuable resource in county government, our employees and officeholders.  Sound employment policy is the basis for efficiency and for productive people.  The interests of the taxpayers are best served when jobs are clearly defined, employees are evaluated and compensated based on job performance and the role of each officeholder and department of county government is posted for all to see.”

            “Dubois County is a mix of rural areas, small communities, and cities and towns.  All areas of the county deserve an equal place at the table of county services, economic development initiatives, and investments in infrastructure.  The county needs a long-range comprehensive plan and it will be most effective if all segments of our county participate in its development.  I believe that I am qualified to help lead our county into the future.”

            Nick and his wife, Angie, are the parents of Calvin, Henry and Marley.  The Hostetters live in Marion Township.

County Surveyor Ken Brosmer to Seek Re-election

2016 Kenneth Brosmer - County Surveyor
          Kenneth R. Brosmer has announced  his intention to seek re-election as Dubois County Surveyor.  He was elected Surveyor in 1992 and has served in that post since January, 1993.

            Brosmer, 55, is a licensed surveyor.  He started Brosmer Land Surveying, Inc. in 1990 and sold the business in 2013.  He is a member of the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors and the Indiana County Surveyors Association.  In 1997, he was named Outstanding County Surveyor in Indiana.

            Brosmer graduated from Jasper High School in 1979 and received a bachelor’s degree in land surveying from Purdue University in 1983.  He is a past member of the board of directors of the Dubois County Museum and a member of St. Joseph Church, Ireland K of C, Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition, Ireland Historical Society, and the Dubois County Purdue Alumni Club.  In 2006, he was named a Jasper High School Alumni of Distinction. 

            Brosmer’s hobbies include golf, hiking, forestry and restoring old log houses and barns.  He and other volunteers reconstructed the Schaeffer Barn along the Jasper Riverwalk and the log house in the county museum. 

            Brosmer and his wife, Anne, are the parents of Bill, 27, and Kate, 25.  The Brosmers live on West Shiloh Road in Jasper. 

            “I look forward to continuing the work of marking all of the corners in the county with GPS locations as well as the traditional marking descriptions.  Few Indiana counties have started marking corners with GPS locations, while we are over 70% complete with the work.”

Judge Mark McConnell to seek Re-election

Dubo2016 Mark McConnell - Superior Court Judge (1)is Superior Court Judge Mark R. McConnell has announced his intentions to seek re-election.  McConnell, 56, has presided over the Court since June 2008 when he was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to replace Elaine B. Brown, who had been appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals.  McConnell won election in 2010 to a full six-year term by a considerable margin.

McConnell’s duties consist of presiding over a criminal docket pertaining primarily to drug and alcohol offenses, divorces, civil litigation, small claims and the Dubois County Drug Court.  He also oversees the Court Alcohol and Drug Program and has been Chairman of the Dubois County Community Corrections Advisory Board since 2011.

During his tenure, Judge McConnell has earned a certificate from the Judicial Conference of Indiana as a Graduate of the Indiana Judicial College.  He has participated as a judge and timer at several 8th District American Legion National High School Oratorical Contests.  He has served on the Council and other committees at his church, Salem United Church of Christ, and is a former member and past President of the Huntingburg Library Board.  He is a member and past President of the Dubois County Bar Association; member of the Indiana State Bar Association; and, member of the Indiana Judges Association.  Judge McConnell graduated from DePauw University and Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis.

In making his announcement, Judge McConnell stated that he was proud of his record as a steady, dependable leader blessed with an abundance of common sense and supported by an excellent and motivated staff.  He is especially grateful for the relationships forged with all staff under his supervision; with the Drug Court team; and, with the Community Corrections Advisory Board members and staff.  All have contributed to the efficient and professional functioning of the Court and meeting its goals of serving justice, preserving rights, protecting the public and achieving reductions in the number of repeat offenders. 

McConnell resides in Huntingburg with his wife Kim.  The couple has three children:  Chris, Clay and Ann.  McConnell remarked that he was humbled by the strong show of support he received in his last election and hopes that voters continue to find him deserving of their support.