Boone County May 2020 Primary Election Guide


For more on where and how to vote click here.

U.S. President

Joseph R. Biden (D)

Donald Trump (R)*


Woodrow Myers (D)

Eric Holcomb (R)*

Indiana Fifth Congressional District

For more on the candidates in this race click here.

Jennifer Christie (D)

  • Personal: Christie and her husband have four children and have lived in the district for 20 years. Christie volunteers as a Girl Scout leader and she and her family are parishioners in the Episcopal Church, where they are involved in choir and education. The Christie family is heavily involved in the performing arts as well as environmental advocacy and outdoor education. 
  • Background: Christie graduated with honors from Pursue University with degrees in chemistry and biology. She worked for years as an environmental chemist and advocate. She earned a master’s certification and worked as a process improvement leader in clinical trials for many years where she managed teams and projects in many nations. She teaches community science classes in chemistry and biology. 
  • Website:

Christina Hale (D)

  • Personal: Hale is married to Chris and they have a son, Owen, and two dogs, Grace and Pinecone.
  • Background: Hale graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree, and she has worked for several years in leadership for a global organization dedicated to supporting global health and children. She also has worked in community and economic development and education. For several years, she has volunteered for, donated to and served in leadership for many cause-related local organizations, including the Indiana Commission on Latino & Hispanic Affairs, Indiana InternNet, Indiana Humanities, Heartland Film and the Domestic Violence Network. Her most active involvement today is with a board she helped to found and continues to serve on, the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking.
  • Website:

Andy Jacobs (D)

Jacobs did not respond to Current for the election guide. Below is information about him published in a previous story.

  • Personal: Not provided
  • Background: Jacobs is a deputy prosecutor in Marion County. Both his grandfather and father served in Congress.
  • Website: Not provided

Ralph Spelbring (D)

Spelbring did not respond to Current for the election guide. Below is information about him published in a previous story.

  • Personal: Not provided
  • Background: Spelbring is an Elkhart resident. He is self-employed on a part-time basis, delivering trucks and recreation vehicles to businesses.
  • Website: Not provided

Dee Thornton (D)

  • Personal: Thornton is married to Don and they have three children, two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren. She is involved with Carmel’s Commission on Human Relations Board, Madison County 4-H Extension Board and Families First.
  • Background: Thornton has a bachelor’s degree in communication and computer science from the University of Louisville. She has an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan and is Lean Six Sigma-certified. She retired after more than 30 years at Xerox Corp.
  • Website:

Kent Abernathy (R)

  • Personal: Abernathy is married to Karen. They have three sons.
  • Background: Abernathy is the former Bureau of Motor Vehicles commissioner. He attended West Point and became an officer in the U.S. Army, serving at Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Bragg, N.C., and in South Korea. After entering civilian life, Abernathy worked in the banking industry in New York City. He then served as a vice president with National City Bank and Bank One in Indianapolis. In 2003, Abernathy returned to the military, serving in leadership at the Pentagon and as chief of staff of the Iraq Assistance Group in Baghdad and as the interim director of the U.S. Central Command Washington Liaison Office. He served as BMV commissioner from 2015 to 2017. He also is involved in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, West Point Society of Indiana (past president), Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
  • Website: 

Andrew Bales (R)

  • Personal: Bales has three daughters ages 36, 20 and 8. He has four grandchildren.
  • Background: Bales has 13 years of service to the U.S. Army, 15 years of service as a teacher in Indiana and works as a private contractor. He has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in education. Personal hobbies include playing music. He plays guitar, bass and drums and records music in his home studio.
  • Website:

Micah Beckwith (R)

  • Personal: Beckwith is married to Susan and they have two children, Brody and Savannah.
  • Background: Beckwith graduated from Huntington University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in management, economics and finance. He has owned and operated small businesses for years and is the CEO of Sing Love Ministries Inc. Beckwith has been in ministry for 15 years and is a pastor at Northview Church.
  • Website:

Carl Brizzi (R)

  • Personal: Brizzi is married to Kim. They have six children.
  • Background: Brizzi is a Fishers resident and an attorney and former Marion County prosecutor. He graduated from North Central High School in 1986, from Indiana University in 1990 and in 1993 from the Valparaiso School of Law. He served as Marion County prosecutor from 2003 to 2010 and is an attorney at Lewis & Wilkins. He also is involved in the NRA, Liberty Fund, Mont Pellerin Society and Bastiat Society.
  • Website:

Allen Davidson (R)

  • Personal: Davidson lives in northeast Indianapolis and lived in Fishers from 2007 to 2015. He moved to Indiana from Texas in 1991. He lived in northeast Indianapolis until 2007. He has a son and a daughter.
  • Background: Davidson is a highway engineer working with the Indiana Dept. of Transportation since 2007. He specializes in pavement design for bridge projects. He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas Tech University in 1991 and also holds professional engineer licenses in Indiana and Texas.
  • Website:

Chuck Dietzen (R)

  • Personal: Dr. Chuck Dietzen lives in Zionsville and grew up in Kokomo. His father worked at the Chrysler Plant and his family took care of 150 foster kids, which he said helped shape compassion for children. 
  • Background: Dietzen is the founder of Timmy Global Health, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization established in 1997 to expand access to health care in the developing world while empowering students and medical professional volunteers to tackle global health challenges. He volunteers with the organizatinon. He is a distinguished alum of the IU School of Medicine, a distinguished alum of Purdue University School of Agriculture, a board-certified pediatric rehabilitation specialist, a former chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and founder of Timmy Global Helth and iSalus Healthcare and is a Christopher Award-winning author and international speaker.
  • Website:

Beth Henderson (R)

  • Personal: Henderson is married to Terry. They have two children. 
  • Background: Henderson runs the family business and a small farm. She is a registered nurse, farmer, entrepreneur, started her own medical case management and agricultural businesses, and is co-owner and VP of operations at Achieva, Inc.
  • Website:

Matt Hook (R)

  • Personal: Hook is married Jody. His children are Jacob, Luke, Katy, Anna Grace, Mary Clare and David James (deceased). Hook is the chairman of The Villages of Indiana (foster care, adoption and child abuse), Second Helpings (food insecurity), Brightwood (tutoring) and a board member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Men’s Group.
  • Background: Hook has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University and a Certified Public Accountant certificate. He has a juris doctorate from Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. He has been a Certified Public Accountant for eight years, a corporate lawyer for 11 years and the last 17 years of his career was as a partner in a private equity firm investing in, and serving on the board of, companies throughout the United States.
  • Website:

Matthew Hullinger (R)

Hullinger did not respond to Current for the election guide. Below is information about him published in a previous story.

  • Personal: Hullinger has a 7-year-old son, Jordan.
  • Background: He is pursuing a secondary education degree at IUPUI, with plans on becoming a history teacher.

Website: Not provided

Kelly Mitchell (R)

Mitchell did not respond to Current for the election guide. Below is information about her published in a previous story.

  • Personal: Not provided
  • Background: Mitchell is the state treasurer. She served as a Cass County commissioner and worked as the director of TrustINdiana before becoming treasurer. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Valparaiso University and advanced degrees from IUPUI and the U.S. Army War College.
  • Website: Not provided

Danny Niederberger (R)

  • Personal: Niederberger has never married and has no children.
  • Background: Niederberge has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in management from Purdue University. He is a fund accountant at Concise Capital Management and previously worked as a portfolio accountant at Wallington Asset Management. 
  • Website:

Mark Small (R)

  • Personal: Small is single and owns a cat.
  • Background: Small is a lawyer. The focus of his practice is appeals, although he also advocates for clients at the trial level in some instances. He graduated from DePauw University in 1978 and from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1989. 
  • Website:

Victoria Spartz (R)

  • Personal: Spartz is married to Jason and lives in Noblesville with their two daughters. She is the senator for District 20 but is leaving that office to seek the the 5th Congressional District seat.
  • Background: Spartz was born overseas and grew up in Ukraine. She emigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago, became a U.S. citizen and then worked her way up from bank teller to business executive, CPA and business owner.
  • Website:

Russell Stwalley (R)

  • Personal: Stwalley lives in Fishers with his wife, son and two dogs.
  • Background: Stwalley has worked many job and has been self-employed twice. He has worked in warehouses, food establishments and is the dough master for a pizza business.
  • Website: 

Victor Wakley (R)

  • Personal: Wakley is married and has two sons, Alexander and Devon. He is living in and restoring a 100-year-old home in Lapel.
  • Background: Wakley is the president of Save Our Veterans, Inc. He has worked with Disney and the White House to establish veteran hiring initiatives, which resulted in the hiring of thousands of veterans nationwide. His wife works for a company in Carmel called Liberty Fund. Inc. which educates individuals worldwide on how to be free and responsible citizens.
  • Website:

Ken Tucker (L)

  • Personal: Tucker is married to Missy and is the father to Stella and Geri. He is a stay-at-home father.
  • Background: Tucker received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and spent 12 years as a public school teacher in elementary and middle schools. He spent nine years as a varsity coach and two years as the Noblesville East Middle School studio producer.   
  • Website:

Senate District 7

Tabitha Bartley (D)

  • Personal: Bartley is a disabled veteran who served eight years in the Marine Corps. She was born and raised in Lafayette and lives in Monticello with her husband and three children.
  • Background: Bartley is an advocate for investing in public education such as higher pay and eLearning. She is a trained sexual assault victim advocate and advocate for female and rural veterans.
  • Website:

Brian Buchanan (R)*

Buchanan did not respond to Current for the election guide. He is the incumbent.

Vernon Budde (R)

Budde is still on the ballot but chose not to respond for the election guide.

State Representative District 24

Naomi Bechtold (D)

  • Personal: Bechtold is married to Marty, and they have lived in Carmel since 2008. They have two children, one who went to Creekside Middle School and both graduated from Brebeuf Jesuit High School.
  • Background: Bechtold has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Duke University and an MBA from Lehigh University. She is an Accredited Financial Counselor. She works as an extension specialist for Purdue Extension. She is a board member for the Carmel Clay Parks Foundation, founding member of the Carmel Kiwanis Club and the past president for the Indiana affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
  • Website:

Donna Schaibley (R)*

  • Personal: Schaibley lives in Carmel with her husband, John. They have two children and two grandchildren. Schaibley is a member of the Carmel Rotary Club.
  • Background: Schaibley is the incumbent for District 24 and has been since 2015. Schaibley was born and raised in Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in education and political science. She has worked in the administration of two major universities, was a leader on the Board of Trustees of the Orchard School and served as a substitute teacher in the Carmel Clay schools and as a volunteer in the community. Schaibley is vice chairman of the Courts and Criminal Code Committee and is a member of the Insurance Committee, the Financial Institutions Committee and the Recycling Marketing Development Board. She has authored and sponsored numerous bills which she successfully helped enact into law. Her recent accomplishments include authoring or sponsoring legislation making schools more secure, enabling patients to discover health care costs in advance of treatment by requiring price transparency and strengthening the rights of victims of sexual assault and human trafficking.
  • Website: or State Representative Donna Schaibley on Facebook.

State Representative District 28

Jeff Thompson (R)*

Thompson is the incumbent. He is unopposed and did not respond to Current for the election guide.

Judge Superior Court No. 1

Matthew Kincaid (R)*

  • Personal: Kincaid is married to Molly and has three children. They live in Zionsville. He is a parishioner at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church where he serves as a Sunday reader and a Confrere (advisor) to the Knights of the Holy Temple. He is active in the Indiana State Bar Association, Boone County Bar Association and on the Board of the Indiana Judges Association. During his free time, he enjoys running.
  • Background: Kincaid is a 1992 graduate of DePauw University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a 1997 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago School of Law with a juris doctorate. He practiced law from 1997 until 2003 when he became a judge.    
  • Website: Not provided

Judge Superior Court No. 2

Bruce Petit (R)*

  • Personal: Petit is married to Kelly and has two adult children, Eric and Maureen. Petit is a member of the statewide Juvenile Justice Improvement committee, the Boone County Community Corrections advisory board and the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative committee.
  • Background: Petit is the incumbent and is unopposed. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in ag econ and attended McKinney School of Law, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. He began working in a private civil practice in Hamilton County while also working in the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office handling major felony crimes for seven years. In 1989, he came to Boone County to work as chief deputy prosecutor. He was elected judge of Superior Court 2 in 2014.
  • Website: Not provided.

County Auditor

Heather Myers (R)

Myers will appear on the ballot but has resigned from this role.

Mike Luciani (R)

  • Personal: Luciani is married to Mary, and they have three children. They live in Zionsville. He is a member of the Indiana Economic Development Association, the Government Finance Officers association, is an assistant Scoutmaster and co-fundraising chair for Scouts BSA, is a member of St. Alphonsus church and is an Arrowman with Scouting’s National Honor Society.
  • Background: Luciani has been an agency auditor for the state of Indiana, a finance manager for a municipality with a population of 75,000, a controller of a dairy product commodity distribution company in Illinois and an owner/operator of a family grocery store. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Website:

County Recorder

Deborah Ottinger (R)

  • Personal: Ottinger is married to Ralph J. Burroughs lives in Lebanon. She has two children, Ryan Ottinger and Ashley Nelson, and two stepsons, Corbin and David Burroughs. She is a member of Lebanon Church of the Nazarene; is a member of the Lebanon Kiwanis Club; is a member of the Mental Health of America Boone County Board; and is a CACC/Sylvia’s Place member and a Boone County Republican Central Committee chairman.
  • Background: Ottinger is unopposed. She graduated from Lebanon High School and attended Ball State University. She serves as the Boone County treasurer.
  • Website: Not provided

County Treasurer

Nicole Baldwin (R)

Baldwin is unopposed. She did not respond to Current for the election guide.

County Coroner

Justin Sparks (R)

  • Personal: Sparks is married to Cami and has three daughters, Alyssa, Isabella and Hailey. They attend Saint Maria Goretti parish in Westfield. Sparks volunteers as a flight paramedic and serves as the director of training for Grace on Wings, America’s only charity air ambulance. He also serves as a reserve deputy marshal for the Thorntown Police Dept., where he is a patrol officer and a certified Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board instructor.  He also is an IHSSA baseball and football official. 
  • Background: Sparks is in his 15th year as a firefighter and paramedic for the Wayne Township Fire Dept. in Indianapolis. He is a captain. He also has worked for the Boone County Coroner’s Office for the past seven years as a medical and legal death investigator. He served six years in the Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 2004. He has studied organizational theory and EMS special operations at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. He graduated from fire service management courses at the Alabama Fire College, Tuscaloosa, Ala. He studied fire science at Vincennes University, sociology at Indiana University in Kokomo and public administration at Ivy Tech community college. 
  •  Website: Not provided

County Commissioner District 2

Donnie Lawson (R)*

Lawson is the incumbent county commissioner for District 2. He is unopposed. He did not respond to Current for the election guide.

County Commissioner District 3

Jeffrey Wolfe (R)*

Wolfe is the incumbent county commissioner for District 3. He is unopposed. He did not respond to Current for the election guide.

County Council At-Large (Choose 3)

Elise Nieshalla (R)*

  • Personal: Nieshalla is married to Chris and has four kids. She is a member of the executive committee of Boone County Family Recovery Court, a member of Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center, a member of Boone County Convention & Visitors Bureau, a member of National Federation of Republican Women, a former member of Boone Economic Development Corp., a judge for Future Farmers of America, a member of Boone REMC Member Advisory Group, on the High School Leadership Team at Zionsville Fellowship Church, a table leader at Zionsville Awakening/Great Banquet, a Street Dance volunteer for Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, a painter and landscaper for Habitat for Humanity and was a State Republican Convention delegate in 2014 and 2016 and is a vice precinct committeeman.
  • Background: Nieshalla is an incumbent. She has a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Oral Roberts University. She also took an Indiana Economic Development course at Ball State University.
  • Website:

Marcia Wilhoite (R)*

  • Personal: Not provided.
  • Background: Wilhoite is an incumbent. She is the owner and principal of Marcia C. Wilhoite, CPA. She is a member and secretary of the Boone County Redevelopment Commission; a member of the board of directors for Boone County REMC; a partner and operator at Wilhoite Family Farms; a partner and operator in Wilhoite Land Company; a shareholder and secretary in Fairway Farms; a member and president of the Boone County Solid Waste Board; and a committee member of the 4-H Pavilion Building. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and received her Certified Public Accountant certificate in June 1983.
  • Website: Not provided

Don Lamb (R)*

Lamb is an incumbent. He did not respond to Current for the election guide.

Matt Jackson (R)

Jackson did not respond to Current for the election guide.