Incumbent facing challenger for District 4 seat

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Compiled by Ann Marie Shambaugh

The race for Zionsville Town Council District 4 features incumbent Elizabeth Hopper facing off against political newcomer Andrew Auersch in the May primary.

Hopper

Name: Elizabeth Hopper

Age: 44

How many years have you lived in Zionsville? It will be 14 years in August.

How did you and your family end up in Zionsville? We were looking for the ideal community to raise our family. Schools were a top priority to us. At the time we were looking we had one child with one on the way. We now have three boys and all three have benefited from the schools. The deep sense of community and the uniqueness and charm of Zionsville have made us happy and we know we made the right decision.

Why do you want to run for elected office? I would like the opportunity to continue what I have started. Four years ago I ran with three things in mind; the need to keep our schools strong, the need for tax base diversification and finally preserving all that makes Zionsville unique. I am currently engaged in all of these issues and am running on a record of accomplishments.

What is your previous political experience? I am currently serving as Zionsville Town Council District 4 representative and am seeking reelection.

What are your top priorities if elected? To continue what I have started; do what is possible to maintain top schools, continue to move the tax base diversification needle in a positive direction all while keeping in mind the need to balance the growth while maintaining the unique heritage of Zionsville.

What are your qualifications to run for this office? As the incumbent council member for District 4, I believe that serving in the role for over three years, along with my prior business experience and my leadership role in numerous nonprofit organizations (including our Zionsville Education Foundation)has provided me with the qualifications necessary to continue on as a council member for another term.

What is your favorite thing about Zionsville? That we aren’t just one thing! There are so many facets to Zionsville; the horse county, the agricultural community, the traditional neighborhoods and the Village.

What area do you think is Zionsville’s greatest need for improvement? Zionsville needs to continue on its current trajectory. Tax base diversification is key in order to maintain the level of services necessary to our community.

Favorite local restaurant: That depends on the mood of the three Hopper boys. Main Street has so much to offer from steaks at Cobblestone to ice cream at the Scoop. The most recent Hopper favorite is off of Main Street. Happy Kitchen is hands down the best sushi in the Indianapolis area!

Favorite movie: “Princess Bride” – a family favorite!

Favorite quote or motto: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky

Family: Husband Jeff and three boys, Jack, David & Ben.

Pets: None!

Favorite vacation: I have a great group of competitive friends, some a bit more than others! In 2012 we decided to sign up for Hood to Coast, a 200-mile team relay running race from the top of Mt. Hood Ore. ending at Seaside, Ore. I was a little apprehensive having never run a day in my life. After 10 months, two training injuries and a lot of determination, I found myself at the starting line at top of Mt. Hood. A day and a half later, our team was on the coast. The beautiful scenery, time spent with friends and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment made it the best trip ever!

Something most people don’t know about you: I have eight siblings, four sisters and four brothers. From an early age I was raised knowing the importance of giving back, my father was active in our church as well as in the military. Three of my brothers graduated from the Naval Academy and are all currently serving as officers, two are f-18 pilots for the Marines and one flies helicopters for the Navy. My fourth brother just returned from deployment in Qatar, he is in the Air Force Reserve.

Auersch

Name: Andrew M. Auersch

Age: 50

How many years have you lived in Zionsville? 10

How did you and your family end up in Zionsville? We moved north from Pike Township. Zionsville offered us the best mix of location, setting, schools and safety.

Why do you want to run for elected office? I’ve always been politically inclined and I care greatly for Zionsville. I want to do what I can to preserve our town while helping us prosper.

What is your previous political experience? I have never run for office.

What are your top priorities if elected? Preserve and support the Village and its entryways, consider funding alternatives for our schools to offset or eliminate the need for a referendum, grow the commercial base in appropriate areas that won’t impinge upon the Village and manage residential growth.

What are your qualifications to run for this office? I’m honest, reasonably intelligent, well-educated (law degree), with 50 years of life experience, 22 years of experience running a law practice, a good dose of common sense and most importantly – I care about our town.

What is your favorite thing about Zionsville? The charm of the Village.

What area do you think is Zionsville’s greatest need for improvement? We are greatly blessed in that our greatest need is not crime prevention, poverty relief or failing schools. Nevertheless, all the good things in our town are expensive to maintain – so a broader commercial tax base and better fiscal management is likely our greatest need.

Favorite local restaurant: Cobblestone Grill

Favorite movie: Too hard to pick one – “Shawshank Redemption,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Pulp Fiction,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Gladiator,” “Up” – too many to name

Favorite quote or motto: Better to dare mighty things, to win great triumphs and to suffer failure… than be one who has neither enjoyed nor suffered much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. Teddy Roosevelt

Family: wife – Lorraine of 17 years, daughter – Adele (12)

Pets: Two dogs – Goldendoodle – Scotch, Shih Tzu mix – Max

Favorite vacation: Wellfeet, Cape Cod

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I chair and host the annual Knights of Columbus Oktoberfest charity fundraiser at St. Alphonsus Church.

Something most people don’t know about you: Cars and cooking are two favorite interests.


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