Phelps will seek second term as county clerk

Bartholomew County Clerk Jay Phelps has announced his intentions to seek a second consecutive term in the 2018 election.

A lifelong Bartholomew County resident and Columbus North High School graduate, Phelps interned while a college student at Cummins Inc., and with the Indiana House Republican Caucus at the Statehouse.

Hired as an elections deputy at age 21, Phelps was later promoted to voter registration and election supervisor.

Three years after being hired by the county, Phelps ran for Bartholomew County Clerk after term limits prevented incumbent Tami Hines from seeking reelection.

After raising almost 15 percent more financial support than his opponent, Phelps defeated fellow Republican Karen Aud with 55 percent of the vote in the 2014 GOP primary. He ran unopposed six months later in the general election.

Since beginning work as county clerk in January 2015, Phelps is perhaps best known for overseeing the transition of precinct voting to vote centers.

Debuting during the 2015 city election, vote centers allow residents to choose where they wish to cast their ballots, rather than being assigned to one polling place near their home.

“It has given the voters of Bartholomew County more options to exercise their right to vote, while saving taxpayer dollars in election-related expenses,” Phelps stated in a press release.

Phelps has also overseen implementation of a new case-management system in his office, as well as the state mandated e-filing system, the release stated. Both eliminate inefficiencies and redundancies, Phelps said.

Phelps also serves as an advisor on Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s Indiana Executive Counsel on Cybersecurity, having been appointed by Secretary of State Connie Lawson.

He co-chairs the Legislative Committee of the Association of Indiana Clerks, and has been appointed to a related legislative role with the Association of Indiana Counties.

In Indiana, the duties of a county clerk include:

  • Administering official court records.
  • Collecting, distributing and reconciling monies related to court cases.
  • Preparing historic records.
  • Overseeing voter registration and local elections.

Candidates in the 2018 election officially can file for office at the Bartholomew County Courthouse from Jan. 10 to Feb. 9.

Jay Phelps

Age: 28

Hometown: Columbus

Education: Graduate of Columbus North High School. Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University

Community Involvement: Athens Church, Columbus Young Professionals, Columbus Visioning Project, Association of Indiana Clerks, Indiana Voter Registration Association, Association of Indiana Counties, Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity, Association of Indiana Clerks Legislative Committee, Association of Indiana Counties Legislative Committee, secretary of the Bartholomew County Election Board, secretary of the County Commission of Public Records.

Family: Wife, Emily; daughter, Chloie; sons Ezekiel and Hayden

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.