February 8, 2024 at 8:00 p.m.

McGalliard files

Incumbent commissioner will seek re-election to south district seat


The rematch is set.

Jay County Commissioner Brian McGalliard made it official Thursday, filing to run for re-election representing the south district. He will face off against Duane Monroe in the Republican primary.

Also filing Thursday afternoon was Michael Brewster for a Republican nomination for Jay County Council at-large. (Brewster was the only additional candidate to file Friday morning before the noon deadline, as he also will run for Republican precinct committeeman in Wayne 3.)

McGalliard’s filing made official the rematch for the south district commissioner seat from the 2020 primary.

“Deciding to run for an elected office is something that should not be taken lightly,” said McGalliard in a press release distributed Thursday evening. “To be an effective commissioner, you must be willing and available to allocate much of your time and energy to the position. Over the last three years, I feel that I have demonstrated that I have the time, energy and knowledge needed to be effective in this position.”

Monroe announced his candidacy in late November and then was one of the first candidates to turn in paperwork to the Jay County Clerk’s Office on the opening day of filing. Following Monroe’s announcement, McGalliard said he planned to run for another term but did not make it official until Thursday.

McGalliard, Dunkirk, is a 1988 Jay County High School graduate and the owner of Pizza King in Portland. He attended Ball State University and bought into the family business in 2006.

He previously trained race horses and worked for Prudential Security, and has been a trustee of the Portland Eagles Lodge and Portland Elks Lodge.

He is seeking the GOP nomination again after winning a three-way race in 2020. He received 1,345 votes (45%) to finish ahead of Monroe (1,102) and Barb Street (544) and went on to defeat independent Bruce Counterman by a 6,097-1,742 margin in the general election.

In his release Thursday, McGalliard touted the upcoming owner-occupied rehabilitation program, his membership on the committee working to make decisions on how opioid lawsuit settlement dollars are spent, efforts to improve Jay County Country Living and the county’s recent decision to commit matching funds toward a grant application to install nearly 400 miles of fiberoptic internet line across the county.

“Since I have been a commissioner, I have spent much of my time learning the position, working with my fellow elected officials, working with the department heads, researching decisions that I must make and trying to make Jay County a better place for everyone,” he said in the release. “I have been privileged to be part of several major projects that are in the works that I would like to see through to fruition. …

“When I am re-elected, I will continue to work hard, will be determined to make Jay County a better place to live and raise a family, and care for people from all walks of life.”

Blake Watson, the only Democrat to file for any county office, is running for his party’s nomination for the south district commissioner seat.

The race for the Republican nomination for the Jay County Commissioner north district seat is also contested, with former three-term commissioner Mike Leonhard taking on Doug Horn. (Incumbent Rex Journay indicated that he will not be seeking a second term.)

Brewster’s filing for county council at-large race again creates a contested race after a withdrawal had dropped the field back to three candidates a couple of days earlier.

Now running for the Republican nomination for the three at-large council seats are incumbents Matt Minnich and Dave Haines, Bryan Alexander and Brewster. (The other incumbent, Jeanne Houchins, has not filed to run.)

Ryan Wellman, who filed to run for a GOP council nomination on Jan. 17, withdrew his candidacy Tuesday.

Other contested races for the Republican primary as of Thursday night were:

•District 33 State Representative — Incumbent J.D. Prescott against Greg LeMaster

•Jay County treasurer — Jon Eads versus Jonelle Foreman

•Penn precinct committeeman — Amy Schlichter against Marla Lutes

Uncontested with just a few hours left of filing are Republicans Matt Lehman for District 79 State Representative, Brian Hutchison for Jay Circuit Court Judge, Missy Elliott for clerk, Brayden Fields for coroner, and Brad Daniels for surveyor. 

John Bartlett is the lone Democrat to file to run for his party’s nomination for District 33 State Representative.

Also uncontested for various GOP precinct committeeman slots are Aaron Loy, Robin Alberson, Angela Moeller, Jesse Bivens, Rebecca Thornburg, Randy Stephen, Lenny Muhlenkamp, Kerry Muhlenkamp, Zach Chenoweth, Jeff Hopkins, Jennifer Langenkamp, Matt Goldsworthy, Chuck Huffman, Michael Brewster and Harold Towell.

Running for Republican state convention delegate are Jenae Blasdel, Jon Eads, Lenny Muhlenkamp, Bryan Alexander, Jared Blasdel, Amy Schlichter, Chad Schlichter, Matt Goldsworthy and Brian Hurt.

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