Q&A with Boone County auditor candidates


Republicans Debbie M. Morton-Crum, the incumbent, and Harold “Huck” Lewis are running for Boone County auditor. There are no Democratic challengers on the primary ballot. The two candidates answered the following questions from Current:

Why do you want to run for this office?

Crum: As your current Boone County auditor, I want to continue to serve the citizens of Boone County. I want to make sure we move forward and grow in a positive and conservative manner.

Lewis: The office of county auditor essentially serves as the financial officer for Boone County. Our county’s growth brings with it an expectation of professional service for our residents. Having been a former mayor, county commissioner and city council member, I have extensive executive experience in managing budgets, working with constituents and overseeing staff, all of which are essential to keep Boone County financially sound.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

Crum: Serving Boone County since 2020 as Auditor has given me an amazing in-site to how county government works day in and day out. My office is staffed with many years of experience that will allow a smooth journey into the growing future of Boone County.

Lewis: As a former mayor, commissioner and councilman, I bring 20-plus years experience in local government. In those years I have “hand-on” experience in budgets, funding and have run the day-to-day operations of both Lebanon and Boone County. I have worked hand-in- hand with the various municipal and county offices and I know how very important it is for all of our elected officials to work together to serve the citizens of Boone County.

What top three issues is your campaign focused on?

Crum: My campaign is focused on:

a. Conservative spending

b. Responsible positive county growth

c. Being a voice in government for the citizens of Boone County and also the employees of our local government offices.

Lewis: The auditor’s primary directive is to serve the citizens of Boone County. Therefore, I will:

• Operate the office in a professional way. The office needs to be open continuously during the day, and all calls will be answered within 24 hours or the next business day. The office must be “user friendly” to be helpful to our citizens.

• Improve training and education for the office staff. This would include accounting, best business practices and customer service. There are many opportunities for continuing education offered by the state of Indiana, and I will encourage staff to participate in their professional development.

• Update the auditor’s pages on the county’s website and add an interactive portal for citizens to ask questions online.

The bottom line is to provide customer assistance and outreach to our citizens in a proactive, professional manner.

What is the greatest challenge facing our county? How do you plan to address it?

Crum: I believe challenges in life make us stronger. Boone County is faced with challenges of growing at a very fast pace. While listening to our citizens’ concerns and ideas, I will continue to work with our County Council members and hold true to conservative spending.

Lewis: We are experiencing rapid growth which is diversifying our agricultural roots. County government must adapt to a more business-oriented approach and I intend to bring the Auditor’s office up to the level of professional service expected of our residents.

Rising assessed values are quickly increasing property tax bills, making it more unaffordable to move here (or stay here). How do you address this?

Crum: Increased assessed values can be a positive event as it means your property has more value for you, however, this also means increased property tax bills. As your Auditor, and Boone County taxpayer, I will work to monitor the increases while keeping in mind the impact upon our taxpaying citizens.

Lewis: The auditor does not have a statutory role in setting tax rates, and is responsible for the distribution of tax revenue to governmental units. The General Assembly has enacted property tax controls that local governments must follow. I will operate the office with fiscal restraint to be sensitive to costs of funding government operations in order to provide every efficiency to the office.

We live in an increasingly polarized and politically divided state and nation. How do you work to lead and better all Hoosiers – regardless of whether they support you or not?

Crum: Our nation’s history is filled with political division issues, yet, it has survived and remains strong. Boone County is part of this strong nation and my hope is to work together to narrow the divide, to keep Boone County prosperous and a safe place to live.

Lewis: Having been a mayor, councilman and commissioner I have represented all citizens irrespective of political ties. As auditor, I want to serve everyone in Boone County in a professional manner, not in a partisan fashion.

What do you most want voters to know about you?

Crum: I am a wife to Jason. A mother to twins Brayden and Brittney. I graduated from Lebanon High School, then obtained a business and paralegal degree. For 23 years, I worked with my father at our family-owned manufacturing business in Thorntown. Boone County is my home and your support is appreciated.

Lewis: As a lifelong resident of Boone County, I want to give back to the community I love. I am a public servant at heart, and I have always been involved in other community activities, including serving as Treasurer of Centenary United Methodist Church, founding board member of the Boone County Mentoring initiative and past president of the 4TH of July.