A Columbus police officer who has served as chief deputy under current Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher has won the Republican nomination to seek the office this fall.
Clayton R. Nolting, 31, won the nomination by a vote of 10,059 to 4,248 over Ronald W. Shadley, 60, a local funeral director. Nolting had a little more than 70 percent of the vote compared to Shadley’s nearly 30 percent.
Fisher decided not to seek re-election after working with the coroner’s office for 32 years.
Nolting will face Democrat Paula K. Rothrock, 57, in the November election. Rothrock, a nurse, is pursuing her master’s degree in nursing science. She was unopposed and took all 3,443 votes in the Democratic primary.
Nolting said he felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders as the final voting center, Donner Center, finished its report and the win was confirmed.
He attributed his nomination to the voters of Bartholomew County looking for a candidate with his educational and forensic background and training.
Nolting has served as chief deputy coroner for the past five years. He has a master of science degree in forensic entomology from Purdue University and certification from the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
Nolting comes from a long line of public servants in Bartholomew County. His great-grandfather was county sheriff and his grandfather served as county clerk and as sheriff for two terms. However, Nolting is the first in the family to be nominated to run for county coroner.
“I’ve always been interested in crime scene investigation — it’s what I do as a police officer — and it’s a way of helping people at the same time,” he said.
He said the job involves using what you see at the scene and bringing a compassionate resolution to a situation, while making sure family members know their loved one was taken care of, he said.
Nolting said he’s looking forward to the race in the fall against Rothrock, a former police officer, and hopes the two will speak in some candidate forums before the general election.
“I think it’s going to be interesting,” he said.
As Nolting’s lead for the nomination continued through the night as the primary results came in, Shadley said he was OK with the result.
“I’m still Ron Shadley,” he said. “I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing — serving my community and serving my families.”
While Hoosier judges must be attorneys, elected coroners in Indiana are not required to have medical backgrounds.
A county coroner in Indiana has jurisdiction over all deaths that occur in their county under suspicious, unusual or unnatural circumstances. The coroner may also be involved in natural deaths that were unattended by a physician.
Indiana has a coroner system, not a medical examiner system. As an elected official to a constitutional office the legal requirements are that the individual be a resident of the county for a least one year. The coroner serves the role of an administrator of the death investigation.
The coroner is responsible for identification of the deceased, determination of the cause of death and determination of the manner of death. The coroner is responsible for the personal property of the deceased.
In Batholomew County, the coroner is paid $21,621.08 per year.
Bartholomew County Coroner
Clayton R. Nolting;10,059
Ronald W. Shadley, Sr.;4,248