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West handily wins commissioner’s seat

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County Commissioner Ron West, right, greets Larry Getterhoff on Tuesday at Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria.
County Commissioner Ron West, right, greets Larry Getterhoff on Tuesday at Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria. PHOTO BY JOSHUA MARSHALL

Voters chose longtime county official Ron West to fill a seat on the three-member board of county commissioners.

West, a Republican, beat Democrat Daniel Hardcastle. He will replace Commissioner John Price as the District 3 representative.

West got 38,201 votes, or about 71 percent of the ballots cast. Hardcastle received 15,874 votes, or about 29 percent.

West is a self-employed business owner who has served on the Johnson County Council for 12 years.

County commissioner district 3


Daniel Hardcastle (D)    29%

Ron West (R)    71%

He will represent the northern portion of Johnson County, including White River, Pleasant and Clark townships. All county voters were able to vote for commissioner.

During his campaign for commissioner, West focused on the county’s limited funding and offered ways to bring in more revenue and cut costs. For example, the county could increase revenue for local road projects with a local fuel tax, which would charge motorists an extra 2 to 5 cents per gallon of gas, he said.

West has been a longtime proponent of using the fuel tax to replace the current wheel tax, which charges drivers when they register their vehicles every year. He said the fuel tax is more equitable and charges people based on how much they drive. He hopes he can work with state lawmakers to get additional funding options for local governments.

West also said he wants residents to have more of a say on whether the Center Grove area should become a town, instead of the commissioners making the decision.

He does not see the need to create a town of Center Grove in White River Township, but he said he would support state legislators changing the law so that residents get to vote in a referendum.

Hardcastle, a retiree, also did not support forming a town of Center Grove.

He had said that as a commissioner he would help oversee projects and make sure taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. Hardcastle said he didn’t want to lay people off but said the county might have to consider that option if spending must be cut in the future.

West won the Republican nomination in the primary election against fellow county council member Anita Knowles and Gary “Pete” Sims.

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