A caucus was held Wednesday night at the VFW in Knox to select a new candidate for the job. Filling the position during a special caucus was needed following the resignation former Coroner Adam Gray – who cited personal and professional reasons behind the move.
Dannie Hoffer, Jr. was elected to the position. He says he was surprised by the vote count after he was given the impression from Starke County Democratic Party Chair Kenny Wallace it could be a competitive race.
“I can’t believe that I actually won the first round. Kenny said there may be two or three rounds, but I took it by majority the first round,” says Hoffer, Jr.
Precinct committee members were the only representatives voting to fill the position.
Four candidates filed to run for the position, including: Ronnie Lawson, Michelle Prater, and Julie Carmean. Candidates were required to do so at least 72 hours prior to the caucus date.
The Starke County Democrats were required to move the previous date of their caucus after it was realized they were four hours short of the 10-day requirement needed before being legally able to fill the role.
Hoffer says there are things that need improvement in the office.
“Right now, it’s just communication,” says Hoffer. “We’ve got to get the paperwork in order and then we’ve got to get the morgue in order for the county.”
Hoffer will take on the duties of Coroner following a swearing-in ceremony in the near future.
The Jasper County Coroner has previously stated they would help any newly appointed Coroner with the paperwork and training needed to complete the tasks of the position.