GOP's Shelbyville sweep called clear sign of change
State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) believes the Republican sweep of four trustee spots and the clerk’s office in Shelbyville Township is a clear indicator of how serious residents are about change.
The trustee winners are Ronald Zidek, Julie Ambrose, Thomas Fleshner and Mitchell Shuff, while Halbrook's wife, Linda Halbrook, won the clerkship.
“We had great candidates with diverse backgrounds who brought fresh ideas to a community that’s desperate to make things better for every one,” Halbrook told the East Central Reporter. “We won big because of a number of things -- one of the top factors being people are ready for true change.”
According to Halbrook, the reasons behind that growing sentiment are numerous, but chief among them are a number of financial irregularities perpetuated by former office holders, including his contention that one former trustee put himself on the government payroll by hiring himself as a manager and janitor for the county.
“Our candidates included a chiropractor, two business women, an engineer and a farmer -- people from all walks of life that shared the common goals of fiscal responsibility and making things better,” Halbrook said.
All of the newly elected are political neophytes, a development Halbrook sees as yet another indicator of how bad things had become.
“All of the people elected are at a place in their lives where they felt a need and desire to serve,” he said. “They truly want to see things get better.”
As for his own family dynamics, Halbrook said he and his wife of 35 years will have more to discuss.
"She'll be clerk, and talking about politics and policy will be common, but she'll make her own decisions," he said.
Halbrook said the first order of business after the Republicans take office is setting a legislative agenda.
“Collectively, we ran on a platform of lowering taxes, tighter budgeting and rolling back taxes, so I’m sure those are the things that will be at the top of the list,” he said.