Three Republicans received votes in a primary to fill three seats up for election on a small Indiana town board. Since no Democrat registered to oppose the three Republicans, they are shoo-ins to win their race. One of the three will also be racing against the clock to see if he gets to occupy his office before he is convicted on the murder charge he faces.
Andrew Wilhoite, 39, was arrested in March by Indiana State Police after investigators determined he murdered his wife, Elizabeth, and dumped her body off an area bridge. Wilhoite allegedly struck her in the head with a blunt object causing her to lose consciousness, state police spokesman Captain Ron Galaviz said in a statement. “He then placed her into a vehicle and drove to a nearby creek where he dumped her body.”
A friend of the wife said she had just finished her last chemo treatment for breast cancer, according to a WTHR report. Wilhoite’s wife was reportedly about to divorce him because of an extramarital affair he had while she was being treated for cancer.
The town board candidate told police he hit his wife on the head with a flower pot during an argument and then drove her to a Boone County bridge where he dumped her body, court documents show.
Despite being in prison since late March, Wilhoite reportedly received 60 votes in the Republican primary for the Clinton Township Board in Boone County. Primaries for the board have been concluded, so the only way he would lose the race is if a write-in candidate receives more votes than he does in November. Unless he is first convicted of a disqualifying felony, he will become a board member since presumably at least he would vote for himself.
Indiana, though, requires write-in candidates to submit a few forms on time in order to have votes for them count. Candidate documents (CAN-3 and CAN-12) and a short form listing basic information such as employer and possible conflicts of interest must be filed with election officials no later than noon on July 5, 2022. Otherwise, the prisoner becomes a board member.
“Indiana only counts votes for declared write-in candidates,” said Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division. “You have to indicate you really want to be written in as a candidate.”
Wilhoite could win the election if he is not convicted of murdering his wife before then, though, based on his primary win. Wilhoite received 60 votes compared to his competitors’ 110 and 106 votes, according to a New York Post report.
“Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty,” King explained. “If a candidate is ultimately convicted, then depending upon the timing of that conviction, the person can be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy.”
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