State Senator Marlin Stutzman won the third district Republican caucus nomination today after only two rounds of voting. Over 400 delegates voted today in Columbia City to elect a candidate for the special and general elections Nov. 2.
Committee members began voting at 12:15 p.m. after hearing speeches from the 15 candidates and supporters who introduced them. Only five members survived the first round: state Rep. Randy Borror, Fort Wayne councilwoman Liz Brown, anchorman Ryan Elijah, businessman Bob Thomas, and Stutzman. Needing only a simple majority, 51 percent, to win the nomination, the second round ended swiftly, Stutzman leading with 57 percent of the total vote.
The caucus was designed so any candidate who had less than five percent of the vote after round one was eliminated. If no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in round two, any candidate with less than 10 percent of the vote would be eliminated until a candidate received a majority.
Stutzman won with 226 votes over the next closest candidate, Borror, who received 69 votes.
The caucus began at 10 a.m. at Indiana Springs Middle School; the located was moved after flooding at Columbia City High School. Of the registered 516 delegates, only 406 participated in the vote.
Stutzman will likely face Democrat Dr. Tom Hayhurst in the special election. Democrats meet June 17 to select a candidate for the special election. Hayhurst received the nomination for the general election in May’s primary election.