Jim Wingate is new Township trustee

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The Democratic precinct committeemen from Pleasant Township have elected Jim Wingate of near Moorefield as the new Pleasant Township trustee.

He replaces longtime trustee Carolyn Griffin, who is retiring after not running for reelection.

Actually, Carolyn Griffin wanted to retire from the position four years ago, and didn’t seek reelection. But no one else filed for the job from either party, and state guidelines say that an office holder will continue to serve until a replacement has been elected.

Four years later, no one else had been elected.

That changed this year, as no Democrat filed for the position; but Republican Andy Jessup did file.

That’s where things got interesting.

Before the November election, Andy Jessup was relocated by his employer out of the area, and he notified the Switzerland County Clerk’s office that he would not be able to serve.

His notification came after the ballots had been printed, so his name appeared on the November ballot as the only trustee candidate.

That led most people to assume that the post would then be filled by the Republican party, who would fill Andy Jessup’s job; but because he notified the clerk’s office before the election, it was determined that there was no candidate for the office – so Carolyn Griffin got to keep it.

But she was firm with county party leaders, insisting that a new trustee be found; and in a vote held on February 13th, Jim Wingate was elected.

He will serve a four-year term.

“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Jim Wingate said. “I won’t be going to any state training until April, but Carolyn is going to help me get things organized and started. She’s going to spend some time with me and help me with the paperwork, and I really appreciate that.”

Jim Wingate is establishing an office in his home on State Road 129, and has set office hours of 9 a.m. until noon on Monday through Thursday; and 9-11 a.m. on Fridays. He will also meet with people on an emergency basis as needed from his township.

Jim Wingate and his wife, Tina, have lived in Switzerland County since 1990. A native of Friendship, Indiana, Jim Wingate is a precinct committeeman for Pleasant II; and is also a member of the Moorefield Community Volunteer Fire Department.