Why Johnson County, Franklin was picked

The majority of local city and county elected officials are Republican, and Republican candidates for the primary election next week far outweigh Democrats.

So, when Republican presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz chose Johnson County for two stops on his campaign trail this week, local officials said they weren’t surprised.

Cruz wants to capitalize on the high percentage of Republican voters in Johnson County, said State Rep. Woody Burton, R-Greenwood.

“Johnson County is just a strong Republican district,” Burton said. “They’re going where the votes are.”

Burton said he believes this year’s general election will be extremely important for the Republican Party. And it has been decades since Indiana voters have mattered, Burton and Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said. By the time the primary election happens in Indiana, residents from more than 30 states have already cast their vote to determine who will be the Republican or Democratic nominee.

When Johnson County Commissioner Brian Baird heard Cruz wanted to stop in Johnson County, he wanted to use that as a chance to showcase the county.

Baird volunteered security services, locations and any other assistance to make sure the visit happened, he said. He got the first call shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, and the details were finalized by Sunday, he said.

“We want to be a leader, not a follower,” Baird said.