Tag Archives: elections

Elkhart Latinos respond to Trump and other post-election coverage

Monday Dec. 4, 2016

Participants in the Elkhart County Republican Party caucus on Friday Dec. 2, 2016, in Goshen. GOP committeemen picked a replacement to fill out Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill's term when he takes over in January as Indiana attorney general. By Tim Vandenack

Participants in the Elkhart County Republican Party caucus on Friday Dec. 2, 2016, in Goshen. GOP committeemen picked a replacement to fill out Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill’s term when he takes over in January as Indiana attorney general. By Tim Vandenack

Election coverage didn’t end with the counting of votes the night of Nov. 8.

I kept busy in the days afterward as well, analyzing and understanding the results and what they meant.

In Elkhart County, the election of Donald Trump as president alarmed some Latinos and immigrant advocates, and they gathered to mull the implications of his selection:

The election of Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill as Indiana attorney general was noteworthy in the context of racial politics. He’s the first African-American GOPer, near as I can tell, and one of only a handful of African-Americans ever elected to statewide office in Indiana, but race seems to have factored little in his contest.

“I’d like to believe that we’re at a point in 2016 where there are just people. There are Hoosiers. There are Americans,” Hill said in an interview with me.

Here’s the story:

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski resoundingly won a third term and the GOPer was pretty ecstatic about the prospects, in combination with Trump’s victory.

“Now I see a path forward,” she said, alluding to hope for repeal of Obamacare, more aggressive action against ISIS extremists in Syria and an end to what she sees as stifling federal overregulation.

Here’s the story:

Me, Tim Vandenack, on far right, at taping of WNIT's Politically Speaking, aired Nov. 13, 2016. We discussed Nov. 8 elections. Screen grab from program.

Me, Tim Vandenack, on far right, at taping of WNIT’s Politically Speaking, aired Nov. 13, 2016. We discussed Nov. 8 elections. Screen grab from program.

Just last Friday, I covered the caucus of Elkhart County Republican Party committeemen to pick someone to fill the unfinished term of Hill, who’s term as prosecutor still has two years. They tabbed Chief Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker and also picked replacements for two other officials elected to higher office last November. The story was pretty straightforward (look here), but it offered the chance to flex some tweeting muscles and I reeled off 17 of them, reporting all the action — and Becker’s naming — in real time.

As in other cycles, I appeared on “Politically Speaking,” the political show on local public station WNIT, as a wonk, discussing and analyzing the election results:

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Libertarians give Elkhart County voters a third choice, Coleman says Walorski is inaccessible

Saturday Sept. 3, 2016

Libertarian candidates Ethan Legg, left, who's running for the District 21 seat in the Indiana House, and Ron Cenkush, who's running for the 2nd District U.S. House seat. Photos supplied

Libertarian candidates Ethan Legg, left, who’s running for the District 21 seat in the Indiana House, and Ron Cenkush, who’s running for the 2nd District U.S. House seat. Photos supplied

Labor Day will soon be here, which means even more election coverage.

But we’ve already been doing plenty of it at The Elkhart Truth. U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican, and her Democratic challenger Lynn Coleman are in the midst of debating whether, when and where to debate, which I used as an opportunity to delve into Coleman’s charges that Walorski is inaccessible. Walorski is holding off on committing to a debate, same as she did two years ago, and Coleman maintains that she doesn’t mix sufficiently with constituents:

Same day that appeared in print, Walorski held a gathering — with a group of business leaders in Elkhart County (look here), hearing their lament that there aren’t enough workers. She regularly meets privately with small groups, her Facebook feed shows, but hasn’t had a town hall or public listening tour of late.

Turns out there are a pair of Libertarians on the ballot, one vying for Walorski’s seat, Ron Cenkush, and the other, Ethan Legg, running for an Indiana House seat that serves part of Elkhart County. I wrote about them, noting that voters here will have more than just Democrats and Republicans to choose from:

There will also be three Libertarians further up the ballot, for governor. U.S. Senator and president.

This, I reckon, is only the beginning of our political coverage…

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Elkhart County voters mob the polls, cast ballots in presidential and local races

Sunday May 8, 2016

Which one does not fit? From outside Jimtown HS, Elkhart #truthelex16

A post shared by Tim Vandenack (@timvandenack) on

Elections came to Indiana, generating a huge turnout locally (as primaries go). Now they’re gone, at least until the November general election.

Election Day, last Tuesday, was a wild ride, and Elkhart Truth staffers, myself included, fed a live online blog throughout the day with tweets (50 or so), Instagram pictures and more, giving the public a sense of what was going on here locally during polling, in real time. The presidential contest in Indiana was big news, but my focus was on local races.

I traveled to several polling places, speaking to poll workers, candidates and voters. I also called election officials. Here’s a taste of some of my contributions to the blog:

Here’s a table I pulled together showing the spike in turnout relative to prior Elkhart County primaries (click the table for a link to an interactive version):

Elkhart County voter turnout spiked on Election Day, May 3, 2016, relative to prior primaries. By Tim Vandenack

Elkhart County voter turnout spiked on Election Day, May 3, 2016, relative to prior primaries. By Tim Vandenack

Here are links to two of the election stories I did:

 

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Elkhart County prosecutor seeks higher office (after years of speculation about grander ambitions)

Tuesday Dec. 15, 2015

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill, who's running for Indiana attorney general. By Tim Vandenack

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill, who’s running for Indiana attorney general. By Tim Vandenack

There’s long been talk of Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill running for higher office.

He’s a four-term, law-and-order prosecutor most known, of late, for his office’s prosecution on felony murder charges of the Elkhart Four, four teens involved in a bungled 2012 robbery attempt. The startled owner of the home the teens were robbing shot and killed one of their accomplices, leading to the charges against the youthful offenders, later reduced to burglary by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Hill late last month formed an exploratory committee to look into the notion of running for Indiana Attorney General then formally announced in Indianapolis on Dec. 7 that yes, indeed, he would run. Me being in Elkhart and Hill unavailable for comment, I did what I could to put together an article that day:

He returned to Elkhart and I interviewed him last Friday, writing up the piece that same day. Turns out he’s previously been approached about running for the U.S. House:

Looks like Election ’16 is gearing up.

 

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Outgoing Elkhart mayor reflects on tenure, mayor-elect assembling team to take power

Mayor-elect Tim Neese, left, is picking a team as he prepares to take office on Jan. 1, 2016. Outgoing Mayor Dick Moore, right, is winding down his stint at City Hall. By Tim Vandenack

Mayor-elect Tim Neese, left, is picking a team as he prepares to take office on Jan. 1, 2016. Outgoing Mayor Dick Moore, right, is winding down his time at City Hall. By Tim Vandenack

Wednesday Dec. 9, 2015

The election is more than a month old, but politics are hardly in the rear-view mirror.

Outgoing Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore, a Democrat, is winding down as the city’s chief executive, soaking in accolades here and there. Meanwhile, Mayor-elect Tim Neese, a Republican who defeated Moore in voting last month, is prepping to take office, selecting his team.

Here are some stories reflecting on Moore’s two terms:

Here’s a story looking at the City Hall staffers Neese will be keeping and replacing (including police chief):

It’s not over. I finished a story today on plans to rename a new overpass crossing a railroad line after Moore — the Richard Moore Express Overpass — a parting gift from the Elkhart City Council. It should appear online Thursday morning. I also prepared a short article on the plans of the outgoing police chief, who will remain in the department, also to come out (I think) Thursday morning.

I received a press release Tuesday from a candidate who’s challenging the incumbent in an Indiana House seat in Elkhart County next year. The political fun never ends.

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Elkhart election redux: Me on WNIT’s Politically Speaking

Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015

Me, on the right, on WNIT's Politically Speaking on Nov. 8, 2015, discussing the Elkhart elections of Nov. 3.

Me, on the right, on WNIT’s Politically Speaking on Nov. 8, 2015, discussing the Elkhart elections of Nov. 3. Screen grab from WNIT.org.

Covering the Elkhart elections wasn’t just about writing stories, tweeting and following returns on election night.

I also appeared on WNIT’s Politically Speaking, with a slate of others, to talk about the Elkhart results, after the fact. I was invited to talk about Elkhart elections, along with other reporters and experts who spoke to elections in South Bend, Goshen and southwest Michigan.

WNIT is a South Bend-based public television station. You can see the episode I appeared in here.

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Elkhart City Council slashes pay hike, candidates debate LGBT rights in forum

The nine candidates for three at-large posts on the Elkhart City Council met Thursday Oct. 8, 2015, at a forum at Indiana University South Bend Elkhart Center. The computer and camera in the foreground were used to livestream the event to ElkhartTruth.com. By Tim Vandenack

The nine candidates for three at-large posts on the Elkhart City Council met Thursday Oct. 8, 2015, at a forum at Indiana University South Bend Elkhart Center. The computer and camera in the foreground were used to livestream the event to ElkhartTruth.com. By Tim Vandenack

Monday Oct. 12, 2015

I kept busy live tweeting last week, first the Elkhart City Council budget deliberations on Oct. 5:

Then came a forum on Oct. 8 for three at-large council seats up for grabs in upcoming elections:

Of course I wrote about the events:

I manned the computer we used to livestream the forum to ElkhartTruth.com:  LIVE STREAM REPLAY: Elkhart’s at-large City Council candidates face off in forum at IUSB Elkhart Center.

I also took pictures:

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Elkhart mayoral, city council hopefuls face off in three forums in two days


Sunday Sept. 20, 2015

Timothy Good asks a question about rights for the disabled at an Elkhart City Council candidates forum, Sept. 17, 2015. By Tim Vandenack

Timothy Good asks a question about rights for the disabled at an Elkhart City Council candidate forum, Sept. 17, 2015. By Tim Vandenack

It’s election season and I’ve already got three campaign forums under my belt, live tweeted all of them.

GOP mayoral challenger Tim Neese, right, and Mayor Dick Moore, a Democrat seeking his second term, at a campaign forum, Sept. 19, 2015. By Tim Vandenack

GOP mayoral challenger Tim Neese, right, and Mayor Dick Moore, a Democrat seeking his third term, at a campaign forum, Sept. 16, 2015. By Tim Vandenack

One of the forums featured nine Elkhart City Council candidates, almost as many as at the GOP presidential debate. A City Council forum coming up will feature 17 candidates on stage all at once.

The two Elkhart mayoral hopefuls had two forums, both on the same day. I wrote a story after the first one, held at noon, then beefed it up with new comments after the second one, which finished at 7:30 p.m.

Look here.

The nine hopefuls for three at-large Elkhart City Council posts faced off in a two-hour forum the day after. I raced back to the office when it was done, ate five or so of the homemade cookies there I had pilfered, filed my story. Hard to get depth, but I made sure to mention each candidate.

Story is here.

I received a call the next day from a leading local Democrat wondering why I didn’t have more comments from the Democrats in the council forum. I noted that I had mentioned all nine, including at least one highlight of what they said. The remaining comments were some of the more interesting things to come out, regardless of party affiliation.

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U.S. Sen. Dan Coats: Tough to view Trump as presidential timber

 Wednesday Aug. 26, 2015

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, left, and Elkhart GOP mayoral hopeful Tim Neese at a Neese fundraiser on Aug. 25, 2015. By Tim Vandenack

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, left, and Elkhart GOP mayoral hopeful Tim Neese at a Neese fundraiser on Aug. 25, 2015. By Tim Vandenack

U.S. Dan Coats has his doubts about presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

“Hard for me personally to see him as commander-in-chief, president of the United States, leader of the free world,” Coats, a Republican, said Tuesday in Elkhart. He was here for a fundraiser for GOP Elkhart mayoral hopeful Tim Neese and I spoke with Coats there.

He’s riding high in the polls, but there’s no shortage of Trump naysayers.

Coats is at right in the picture above with Neese. They were at the Havilah Beardsley House here.

Read the full story here.

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