The deadline to file for the Republican caucus for the vacant Winona Lake clerk-treasurer position came and went Saturday with only one person filing for the post.
Town Council Vice President Heather James, who was elected in 2023 to take over the clerk-treasurer job from Laurie Renier on Jan. 1, filed by Saturday’s deadline to finish out the remainder of Renier’s term this year.
Renier submitted her resignation Oct. 10, effective immediately, to the Winona Lake Town Council and Kosciusko County Republican Central Committee Chair Mike Ragan. At that time, there were only 82 days left remaining in her term.
In her resignation letter, which Renier read aloud to the council Oct. 10 before their 2024 budget review and public hearing, she cited the working conditions and criticism from the council, town employees and others, among other reasons, for her resignation.
Ragan scheduled the caucus to replace Renier for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 in the Winona Lake Town Hall Council Chambers, 1310 Park Ave., Winona Lake. The deadline to file was 72 hours prior to the start of the caucus, or 6 p.m. Saturday.
Even though James is the sole candidate to file, a caucus is still required to elect her to the clerk-treasurer position.
If she is elected by the caucus, she will have to resign her position as the Ward 4 council representative and Ragan will have to call a caucus to replace James on the council for the remainder of 2023. Ragan may not schedule a caucus sooner than 10 days after a resignation and not more than 30 days after.
Barry Andrew ran for the Ward 4 seat this year unopposed and is slated to take office Jan. 1.
Attempts to James by press time Sunday evening were unsuccessful.