Three Westfield council incumbents lose their seats

Westfield’s City Council will likely look very different next year.

Out of seven seats on the fiscal body, four seats will be occupied by fresh faces as three incumbents lost primary challenges and two open seats will be filled by newcomers.

Republican incumbents Jim Ake, Charles Lehman and Bob Horkay lost their races Tuesday.

In the open District 2 race, where Republican Steve Hoover did not seek re-election, Westfield High School head football coach and dean of wellness Jake Gilbert won with 60% over Westfield Redevelopment Commission member Bob Beaudry, who received 40%.

Ake lost in the three-way race for two at-large seats. Incumbent Cindy Spoljaric and newcomer Troy Patton won the two seats with 40% and 34%, respectively. Ake received 26% of the vote.

Lehman, who earlier this year voted against the funding proposal for Grand Junction, lost the District 4 race to Scott Frei. Frei received 68% over Lehman’s 32%.

Horkay lost in a three-way race for the District 5 seat, only receiving 24% of the vote. Mike Johns won with 40% over Horkay and Jeff Boller, who received 36%.

Republican incumbent Joe Edwards was unopposed. And in the open District 1 race, Republican Scott Willis—a Westfield business owner and colonel in the Marine Corps—was unopposed. 

Patton, Frei and Johns were all endorsed by the Fiscal Conservatives of Hamilton County. Four of the group's five endorsed candidates won in Westfield, and only one of the candidates they endorsed in other cities did—Fishers Clerk-Treasurer Jennifer Kehl won re-election.

In the Clerk-Treasurer’s race, incumbent Cindy Gossard survived a challenge from Tammy Havard, who currently serves as Westfield’s financial strategist and is considered an advisor to Mayor Andy Cook.

Gossard has served as clerk since 2001 and before that she was deputy clerk. She has worked for the city since 1993.

Cook was not opposed in the primary, and with no Democrat filed to run in the fall, Cook will likely serve a fourth term.

No Democrats have filed to run in any of Westfield’s races, and the city leans heavily Republican.

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