Race for council seat has eight contenders

The Whitley County Republican Party will hold a caucus Oct. 20 to select a new member to the Whitley County Council to replace outgoing at-large Councilman Jim Banks.Banks resigned his spot effective Nov. 2 to run unopposed for the Indiana State Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Dr. Gary Dillon.According to the Voter Registration Office, seven candidates have thrown their hat into the ring for the position. Banks said Tuesday he knows of at least one more who intends to file.“I expect a few more to jump in as well,” he said.The caucus will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the county commissioners’ chambers, located in the Whitley County Government Building.Currently on file for the seat are Matthew J. Boyd, 1420 E. Ridgewood Dr., Columbia City; Scott Darley, 7480 W. River Rd., South Whitley; Richard J. Kyler, 4200 S. Raber Rd., Columbia City; James A. Macino, 5620 E. Ind. 205, Columbia City; Cheryl L. McDevitt, 2115 W Ind. 205, Columbia City; Stephen P. Smith, 503 E Sunset Dr., South Whitley; Max E. Zimmerman, 5747 N. 350 E., Columbia City; and Paula G. Reimers, 5734 N. Center St., Columbia City.The new member of the county council will be selected by vote from the county’s precinct committeemen, who will vote until one candidate has the majority, according to Banks. He said he expects a strong turnout of the county’s 34 precinct committeemen.“I expect most of them to attend,” he said.The new member of the council will fill the remainder of Banks’ current term, which ends in 2012.Banks also serves as chairman of the Whitley County Republican Party.“I have two years left and intend to fill out the rest of my term,” he said.