These are the Franklin and Ripley county candidates in contested races for county council, commissioner, assessor, coroner and sheriff who responded to emails asking for information for free election profiles. They are all Republicans. The primary election is Tuesday, May 8.

Franklin County


Brenda Eckerle

Qualifications: I worked in Franklin County Assessor’s office for 21 years. Some of my duties included 1st deputy, created tax parcels, audited personal property, processed sales disclosures, customer service and general reassessment. I attained Level I, II and III Certified Indiana Assessor Appraiser certificates.

If elected, programs I would to institute: If I am elected, I would like to maintain the fair and equitable assessments for all taxpayers. I will serve the public with knowledge and experience for their taxation needs and concerns.

Education: I graduated from Brookville High School in 1975.

Work experience: Franklin County Assessor’s Office, deputy/1st deputy, 21 years; Fundamental Insurance and Retirement Planning, office manager, five years; FCN Bank, customer service representative/teller, one year

Family: husband Tom Eckerle, children Jennifer and Miranda

Cheryl Campbell

Qualifications: I have been involved with our local Republican Party over the past decade. I am serving my third term as vice committeeman and third year as treasurer for our local Republican Women's Group. I have sat on committees for the Central Committee and worked several years at the voting polls.

Education: I attended Laurel schools and graduated from Franklin County High School. I furthered my education at the University of Indianapolis seeking a degree in elementary education with endorsements in special education and learning disabilities.

Work experience: I ran a daycare out of my home for several years. Once our children were enrolled in school, I began working outside the home cleaning houses. For the past six years, I have worked for Home Helpers of Batesville, providing care to individuals as a home health aid nurse/caregiver.

Family: husband Brian G. Campbell; two daughters, Kayla and Kristin

Campaign web site: Facebook: Cheryl Campbell for County Assessor


Eric Roberts

County's top issues to be addressed: Promote economic growth – We need to attract, maintain and retain business of all types and sizes so that those who live here have an opportunity to work here; maintain fiscal responsibility – I pledge to spend wisely and within our means while seeking additional state and federal funding opportunities; improve county roads and bridges – funding from the gas tax increase and community crossing grants will allow us to do more maintenance and repairs.

If elected, programs I would like to institute: An addiction recovery program is what I feel is most needed. Most all of those incarcerated in our local jail are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. A recovery program may help end the cycle of crime related to addiction.

Qualifications: I am currently in my eighth year as commissioner and have attended numerous conferences and trainings.

Education: 1989 Brookville High School – college prep and 1990 Lincoln Technical Institute – auto diesel technology

Work experience: Franklin County commissioner, eight years; self-employed farmer, 20-plus years

Family: wife Kari Roberts; children Easton and Karlee

Gerald Wendel

Qualifications: Farmed and worked in land management and construction, including road and bridge work, all of my adult life

If elected, programs I would like to institute: I would strive to keep bridges and roadways safe, listen to and assist in problem solving of county citizens

Education: Whitewater High School graduate and Purdue University graduate with a degree in agriculture

Work experience: Reside on and farm the family farm plus am under contract to maintain the grounds at the Fernald Preserve, where formerly employed.

Family: wife Donna Wendel; children Mark Wendel, Sara Wendel, Jennifer Zimmerman and Krystal Minton


Brian Baxter

Qualifications: I have been serving as deputy coroner since January 2012. I have completed the Indiana State Death Investigator course and several other death investigation classes. I have worked many cases with local law enforcement agencies. I am a volunteer firefighter with the Blooming Grove and Brookville Volunteer Fire departments.

If elected, programs I would like to institute: I feel the coroner’s office has a great team that works well together and with local emergency agencies. We would continue to work with local law enforcement agencies in helping with Franklin County’s drug issues in any way we can.

Education: 1991 Franklin County High School graduate

Work experience: Zimmer Tractor sales for 18 years, deputy coroner since 2012

Family: wife Joy Baxter; children Abbi Baxter, Lynn Westerfeld and Chris Rosenberger

Campaign web site: Facebook: BrianBaxter@Baxter FCCoroner

Brian Bischoff

Qualifications: I am a Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator. I was Franklin County deputy coroner from 2001-2004 and chief deputy coroner from 2004-2008

If elected, programs I would like to institute: If elected, I would ensure professionalism, honesty, compassion and dignity in every case.

Education: Graduated from Franklin County High School in 1991, attended the University of Evansville for two years and majored in criminal justice, attended Indiana University East for two years and majored in criminal justice, graduated from the Unitesd States Army Military Police Academy at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and served eight years in the reserves and National Guard

Family: wife Heidi Kuntz, daughter Brianna Bischoff


Peter Cates

County’s top issues to be addressed: Being fiscally responsible regarding county’s resources and working within the budgeted funds allocated to the sheriff’s department; current drug crisis (meth, heroin and opioid) – work collectively with area police agencies, emergency and social services to address drug addiction issues today and provide education to our youth on drug prevention; by providing a positive influence to all officers as a community leader by serving the citizens in a professional, fair and well-trained manner

If elected, programs I would like to institute: Institute a program to enable officers to perform driver license and vehicle registration checks from their patrol vehicles, increase drug prevention education utilizing the school resource officer across Franklin County, better follow-up communication between officers and the public in ongoing investigations

Qualifications: I am a career law enforcement officer with over 30 years experience. While working with the Indiana State Police, I have been a field-training officer, police academy instructor, defensive tactics instructor, and, most recently, in charge of the marijuana eradication investigation division in southeastern Indiana for the past 13 years.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, Indiana University, Bloomington

Work experience: Indiana University Police Department, three years – graduate of Indiana Law Enforcement Academy while attending Indiana University; Indiana State Police, achieving Master Trooper, 29 years – graduate of Indiana State Police Academy

Family: wife Sandra Scudder Cates, children Catherine Cates and Conner Cates

Campaign web site:

John Roberts Jr.

County's top issues to be addressed: Franklin County’s drug problem, the mentoring program for new sheriff’s deputies and the relationship between the sheriff’s department and other emergency service providers. I feel as though through strong leadership as well as building and maintaining positive relationships with staff as well as community members that the sheriff can affect change within our community.

If elected, programs I would like to institute: Improve the county’s reserve officer program and support the Choices Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program that is being initiated in Franklin County as well as surrounding counties. I would also like to reinstitute the jail ministry program.

Qualifications: law enforcement, 34 years (Laurel, 15 years; Oldenburg, one year, Franklin County Reserves, three years; Franklin County deputy, 15 years); K-9 officer, 11 years; past chief deputy, two years; certified 1st and 2nd Class Firefighter, 28 years; Batesville Casket, 23 years – supervisor, 13 years; specialized training – Drug Recognition Expert, Weapons Armorer training, Drug Interdiction, Indiana Law Enforcement Instructor

Education: Brookville High School, Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Indiana Law Enforcement Town Marshal Academy, Indiana Wesleyan University (business science)

Work experience: Batesville Casket, 23 years (production, 10 years; supervisor, 13 years); Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, deputy, 15 years

Family: wife Donna Roberts; children Jason Roberts, Jeremy Roberts and Rebecca Combs

Ripley County


Rob Seig

County's top issues to be addressed: County infrastructure (roads, bridges and technology), economic development (promotion and support of big and small business) and managing responsible budgets of county appropriations using taxpayers' money. My vote is one of seven. I will bring different ideas to help manage the county budget and spend taxpayers' money responsibly using my knowledge being a small business owner for 16 years. I work with county and state governments daily in my work and understand the process of economic development and maintenance of infrastructure. I will help find funding sources for Ripley County to responsibly grow in the proper locations. Support of existing and new business are key to growing existing business and new jobs to the taxpayers of Ripley County.

If elected, programs I would like to institute: If elected, I would like to gain the support of other council members to develop a small business support program that would promote new business in Ripley County and help maintain the continued growth of the existing business.


Small business owner of Seig Surveying for 16 years; licensed professional land surveyor; organizations: board member - North Dearborn Water Corp., past president of New Alsace Conservation Club and past commander of the Sons of the Sunman Legion Post 337; my knowledge of working with local, county and state governments

Education: Graduate of East Central High School, graduate of Cincinnati State and degree in civil engineering/land survey major

Work experience: Chaffee & Associates Inc., survey technician/crew chief, 1990-2001; Seig Surveying, professional land survey/owner, 2001-present

Family: wife Rita Seig, daughter Logan Seig, sons Gunnar Seig and Reid "RJ Seig

Campaign web site: Facebook: Vote for Rob Seig Ripley County Council

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