3 bid for GOP nomination for District 2 commissioner
Voters who opt for a Republican ballot in the June 2 Primary will be able to choose between three candidates — Aaron Haggard, Nelson Stepro and Mark Strange — as their party’s candidate. While District 2 represents Franklin, Harrison and Webster townships, the candidate is selected by the voters countywide. The winner will face Richard Gettelfinger, a Democrat who is unopposed in the Primary, in the Nov. 3 General Election. Kenny Saulman, who is the current District 2 commissioner, is not seeking re-election. Below are Haggard, Stepro and Strange’s responses to a questionnaire sent to them by this newspaper.
Name and residency: Aaron B. Haggard, Corydon
Family: Wife, Carrie Mattingly Haggard; children, Austin (17), Alyssa (13), Alanna (11), Abby (5) and Addy (5); grandparents, Estel Lee and Mildred Parks and the late A.B. and Helen Haggard; parents, Steve and Terri Haggard and Vernon and Cathy Mann
Education/Occupation/Political experience: North Harrison High School/Indiana University SE, 2001; local business owner Accent Custom Homes & Accent Custom Closets & Design; no political experience/ two terms on board of directors for Boys & Girls Club Harrison & Crawford Counties, four years on advisory board for Harrison Springs Health Campus, on advisory board of One Community Veteran & Restorative Housing Community
Why are you seeking the office (100 words or less)? First, I have a strategic plan as it relates to help improve the economic structure to promote higher paying jobs. Second, I am 100% vested in our county as a concerned local business owner, resident and a long-time civil servant that will work with other areas of the government as a team to promote self-sustainability and reduce the dependency of casino revenue. Third, I want to bring transparency, ethics and encouragement back to the county employees, letting them know that their jobs are secure. Fourth, I want to be the voice for all of the citizens of this county.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents (150 words or less)? “Experience Counts.” Our county is a business, only it does not make money; it spends ours! Our county should be managed using fiscal responsibility. Due to COVID-19, we have some big problems with the upcoming budget; we need experienced people in office to help navigate through these issues. I have created, managed, balanced and implemented multi-million-dollar budgets while managing 45+ employees. I currently volunteer for three county boards. I have over 18 years of diverse experience in construction that is not limited to understanding, creating and approving contractual agreements. As a local business owner, I understand how hard it is to keep businesses running, and I will support our local businesses first. I believe in balance between economic growth and farm land preservation. I was raised on a farm and understand the importance of preserving farm land for agricultural businesses. It’s time to elect a new generation of ideas.
Name and residency: Nelson Stepro, Corydon
Family: I have been married to my wife, Rena, for 36 years. We have two grown sons (Coy and Taylor), two daughters-in-law (Amber and Bree) and two grandchildren (Addison and Hagan).
Education/Occupation/Political experience: I am a graduate of Corydon Central High School class of 1976. Founder and co-owner of Stepro’s Garage Corydon, Ind. This is my first time running for a political office.
Contact information for voters: 812-267-4692; [email protected]
Why are you seeking the office (100 words or less)? I am not running to push any agenda or project. I am not running to be somebody or to get something. I believe in old-fashioned public service. I love this county and want to make it an even better place. If elected, my intention is to look at each matter brought before the commissioners and make decisions based on the facts being presented.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents (150 words or less)? I am a common working man with conservative values and common sense. I have 26 years of business experience as founder and co-owner of Stepro’s Garage. I am a member of the National Rifle Association and believe very strongly in protecting our 2nd amendment rights. I am a conservative. I believe in being fiscally responsible and using tax dollars in a way that benefits all residents as equally as possible. I believe in being prepared and learning, so I have been attending county commissioner and council meetings since the start of the year. I believe in listening and will always be open to your opinion and advice. The most important campaign promise I can make to you as a resident and voter is to do this job to the best of my ability. In closing, I would appreciate your support and vote in the June 2 Republican primary.
Name and residency: Mark Strange, Harrison Township
Family: I have been married to Holly Eckart Strange for 24 years. Together we have five children and one granddaughter: Julia Watts (Don) of Scottsburg, Donna Carter of Scottsburg and Joshua Pare, Ashley Strange and Caleb Strange, all of Corydon. We attend First Capital Christian Church and have enjoyed living in Corydon since we have been married.
Education/Occupation/Political experience: I graduated from Salem High School and attended IUS. I am currently employed part time as a manager and firearms instructor for American Shooters in Clarksville. I began working at American Shooters shortly after retiring from the Indiana State Police. I became a state trooper after graduating from the Indiana State Police Academy in 1984. I spent my last 25 years assigned to Harrison County and retired as a Master Trooper. I also served 32 years in the U.S. Army, most of my time being in the Reserves. Prior to the state police, I was a shop foreman and a journeyman diesel mechanic for Peterbilt of Louisville for eight years. I have not held any political office.
Contact information for voters: You can reach me by email at [email protected] or by phone at 812-972-4769.
Why are you seeking the office (100 words or less)? While employed with the state police, we were not allowed to hold a political office. I knew after retiring I still had a great deal to offer the residents of Harrison County. I have enjoyed working and living here and would like to see continued growth. I believe in hard work and responsible/common-sense spending. Now that our children are grown, I have the time it will take to be devoted to this position. I would commit to being fiscally responsible and would work with the county council for the best use of our tax dollars.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents (150 words or less)? I bring a fresh perspective to the political arena. I look at this as a positive as I will bring new thoughts and ideas to the position. I am a faithful Christian with high family values. I support and defend our Constitution and am a proud member of the NRA. I am an outgoing, motivated and responsible individual who has a passion for our entire county. My career as a state trooper gave me an opportunity to be out and about every day. In doing this, I was able to witness many of the new and exciting projects that impact the everyday lives of our community members. Community involvement is very important to me and is something I enjoy. I am no longer tied to a full-time job; therefore, I feel I have the additional time it will take to be a successful commissioner for our county.