WINONA LAKE - Provided that the Republican caucus gives its OK Monday night, Barry Andrew will be joining the Winona Lake Town Council 55 days sooner than expected.
Andrew - who ran unopposed this year for the Ward 4 seat on the town board - is the only person who filed by Saturday’s deadline for the caucus to finish out the remainder of Heather James’ seat on the council.
James, the Winona Lake Council vice president representing Ward 4, won the Republican primary in May over incumbent Laurie Renier for clerk-treasurer and didn’t face any opposition for the general election. Because there are no contested races in Winona Lake this fall, there will be no election Tuesday for the town.
James was not scheduled to take over as clerk-treasurer and Andrew was not to take over the Ward 4 council seat until Jan. 1. However, Renier resigned effective immediately Oct. 10 as clerk-treasurer, which necessitated Kosciusko County Republican Party Central Committee Chair Mike Ragan to call a caucus to replace Renier as clerk-treasurer for the remainder of 2023. James was the sole candidate to file for the caucus.
Before the clerk-treasurer caucus Oct. 24, James resigned from the town council as required. With her resignation, another caucus was scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall Council Chambers to name James’ replacement on the council for the remainder of 2023.
“I’m obviously excited about getting started a few months earlier,” Andrew said in a telephone interview Sunday. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve the town. The last few months for the town have been interesting, and I’ve always been a solutions-focused guy and I’m interested in finding solutions for the town.”
He said he also was excited about getting to know the other council members and serving with them, the leadership that the council can provide to the town and serving Winona Lake.
Andrew’s grandfather, Porter Polston, served on the Warsaw Common Council for a number of years and his uncle, Randy Polston, has served on the Warsaw School Board for years. Andrew was excited about the opportunity of continuing the family tradition of serving the community in a leadership role.
Andrew and his wife, Joye, have five children. He is the director of Kosciusko County Community Corrections.
Andrew was born and raised in Warsaw, graduating from Warsaw Community High School in 1994. He earned his undergraduate degree from Grace College in counseling and sociology in 1998. In 2012, he finished his MBA from Grace.