Editor’s note: This story has been updated, and the contestants in the LaPorte County judicial race corrected.
A Clark County judge who was suspended for his involvement in a drunken Indianapolis brawl that ended with his and a fellow judge’s shooting trailed in his reelection bid, as did another judge in the southern Indiana county. They were among a handful of Indiana trial court judges facing ouster at the hands of voters.
Democratic Clark Circuit Court 1 Judge Andrew Adams trailed Republican challenger and former Clark Circuit Judge Dan Moore by a margin of 56% to 44%, according to preliminary vote totals reported Tuesday night.
The News and Tribune of Jeffersonville declared Moore the winner. The newspaper also projected Republican challenger Lisa Glickfield would unseat Democratic Clark Circuit Court 3 Judge Joe Weber by just a few hundred votes out of more than 55,000 counted, 50.3% to 49.7%.
Adams was suspended from the bench for 60 days by the Indiana Supreme Court after he pleaded guilty in September 2019 to misdemeanor battery in a melee in a downtown Indianapolis White Castle parking lot.
Clark Circuit Judge Bradley Jacobs and Crawford Circuit Judge Sabrina Bell also were suspended for 30 days for their roles in the May 1, 2019, confrontation and brawl with early-morning White Castle patrons Brandon Kaiser and Alfredo Vasquez. The episode ended with Kaiser shooting and seriously wounding Adams and Jacobs.
Jacobs, a Republican, ran unopposed Tuesday and was reelected to Clark Circuit 2.
In other competitive Indiana trial court races, a few sitting judges were turned out and several new jurists were elected to fill court vacancies. Elsewhere around the state, according to unofficial vote totals:
In Porter County, voters tossed out Superior Court 4 Judge David Chidester, according to results posted by the Times of Northwest Indiana. The paper reported Republican challenger Christopher Buckley unseated Chidester by a margin of about 60% to 40%. Meanwhile, Republican Mike Fish defeated Democrat Matt Soliday in the race to succeed Porter Superior 1 Judge Roger Bradford, a Republican who is retiring as Indiana’s longest-serving trial court judge. Voters also returned Republican Porter Circuit Judge Mary DeBoer to the courthouse in Valparaiso. She handily defeated Democratic challenger Mitch Peters.
In Madison County, Democratic Madison Circuit Court 2 Judge G. George Pancol lost to Republican challenger Stephen J. Koester by a margin of 57% to 43%, according to unofficial county vote counts. Voters meanwhile by a 59% to 41% margin elected Republican Scott Norrick in Madison Circuit Court 5 over Democratic challenger and Elwood City Court Judge Kyle Noone. Norrick will succeed retiring Democratic Judge Thomas Clem. Voters also returned Madison Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe to the Anderson courthouse, as he turned back a challenge from Democrat Rosemary Khoury.
In Tippecanoe County, a different Republican named Dan Moore was elected as the first judge of Superior Court 7, which opens in January. Moore defeated Democratic challenger Jacque Chosnek 53% to 47%, the Journal & Courier of Lafayette reported. In the race to succeed retiring Judge Laura Zeman, Republican Matt Sandy beat Democrat Matthew Boulac by a 57% to 43% margin. And despite telling voters that because of health issues he would not serve if reelected in Superior Court 1, Republican Randy Williams defeated Democratic challenger Bryan Coulter 54% to 46%.
In LaPorte County, Republican challenger Jaime Oss defeated Democratic Superior 1 Judge Michael Bergerson.
In Adams County, independent Sam Conrad defeated Republican Judge Patrick Miller in the race for Superior Court.
In Floyd County, Republican Carrie Stiller defeated Democrat Matthew Lorch in the race to succeed outgoing Floyd Superior Court 1 Judge Susan Orth. Republican Superior Court 2 Judge James Hancock defeated Democratic challenger Chelsea Stanley.
In Jefferson County, Republican Blaine Goode defeated Mary Jean Stott to succeed Superior Court Judge Michael Hensley.
In Kosciusko County, Republican Chad Miner defeated Democrat Anthony Garza and will fill the seat vacated by Superior Court 3 Judge Joe Sutton.
In Orange County, Republican Debra Sue Andry beat Democrat Susan McDonald Umprey and will succeed Judge R. Michael Cloud.
Several judges won reelection in a few other contested Indiana trial court races. Among them:
In Dubois County, Democratic Circuit Judge Nathan Verkamp defeated Republican challenger Kevin Crouse.
In Spencer County, Democratic Circuit Judge Jonathan Dartt turned back a challenge from Republican Victor Ippoliti.