Five vying for at-large county council seats

Five Republican candidates are seeking election June 2 for three at-large Jackson County Council seats.

Incumbents John Nolting and Dave Hall are facing challenges from Tom Joray, Brett Turner and Woody DeZarn. There are no Democratic candidates in this race or any one primary race at the county level.

Nolting said he originally ran as a way to give back to the community.

“My family was in the grocery business for three generations in Jackson County, and serving on the council is my way of giving a little of that back,” he said. “While in high school, a teacher of mine, Miss Bruner, got me interested in how the government is run. Serving on the county council keeps me in touch with what is going on in the county.”

Hall said he initially chose to run to best use his interest and skills in finance to help fellow county residents.

“I have been a resident of Jackson County my entire life,” he said. “I see the successes and struggles of my friends and neighbors. I have been blessed with a great interest in finances and budgeting. I want to use the gifts that God has given me to do my part to maintain and improve our great community.”

Joray said he decided to run for county council because he loves serving his community and wants to see tax dollars put to good use.

“I have always been interested in serving the public and in fact have served you well in the past,” he said. “I will and always have been a good steward of taxpayer money. I will make sound and responsible decisions regarding how the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is spent.”

Turner said he decided to run because he wants to give back to his community, and he feels his previous experience working for the county will help him do that.

“I feel that at this point in my life, I have the experience and knowledge to make a positive contribution to the process,” he said. “I realized that I could contribute in a positive manner after I was chosen by the deputies of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to represent them on the JCSD Merit Board, where I continue to serve and learn more about our county government. Because of this, I decided to become more involved in Jackson County government by running for the council.”

DeZarn said he is running because he wants to continue to serve his community.

“Once you become and serve the public, whether as a volunteer, police officer or a councilman, it gets in your blood and you want to help as much as possible,” he said. “Current political turmoil has me worried, and I want to bring a strong voice for our residents in all things, from protecting our Second Amendment rights and personal civil rights to getting funding for roads.”

In 2019, the salary for a county council member was $7,553.52.

Absentee ballot by mail has begun, and there will be limited early in-person voting during the week of May 26 to June 1 at the courthouse annex, entering from the parking lot behind the Jackson County Judicial Center at 220 E. Walnut St. in Brownstown.

Registered voters can apply for an absentee ballot through May 21 by calling the voter registration office at 812-358-6120 or 812-358-6117 or emailing county Clerk Melissa Hayes at [email protected] or voter registration clerk Andrea Edwards at [email protected].

Applications also can be downloaded and printed at or

After an application has been received, the voter will be mailed a primary election ballot. The voter must then complete the ballot and return it to the county election board by noon Election Day, June 2.

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