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Columbus Republicans will meet next month to choose a new member of City Council to replace Aaron Hankins.
Barb Hackman, Bartholomew County Republican Party chairwoman, said that precinct committee leaders in the city’s 37 precincts will vote Oct. 7 for the new council member.
Hackman said she has already had about eight people say that they are interested in the office.
Deadline to apply for the opening is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Declaration forms are available at the county clerk’s office in the courthouse or from Hackman and may be dropped off at the clerk’s office or with Hackman directly.
What: Columbus at-large City Council member Aaron Hankins resigned last week, and city Republicans will choose a replacement
When: Precinct committee leaders will meet at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Republican Party Headquarters, 718 Pearl St., to vote for Hankins’ replacement
To file: Declaration forms can be picked up at the Bartholomew County clerk’s voter registration office in the courthouse or from Barb Hackman, county Republican Party chairwoman
Deadline: Forms must be dropped off at the clerk’s voter registration office or with Hackman by 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4
Applicants must be Republicans who are residents of Columbus. Because Hankins represented an at-large seat, applicants can be from anywhere in the city. The city of Columbus has precincts in Columbus, Clay, Flatrock, Wayne and Harrison townships.
“If they can vote in the city election, they can possibly be a candidate,” Hackman said.
Letters will be mailed out to the precinct committee leaders to alert them to the upcoming caucus, she said.
Hankins submitted his resignation, citing business opportunities that will lead him out of Columbus.
“I have spent my entire life focused on civil government and, unfortunately, the time has come to focus on business,” Hankins wrote in his letter submitted to Clerk-Treasurer Luann Welmer’s office.
In an email to the mayor and City Council members, he thanked the city’s elected officials and the families who supported his election campaign.
Hankins was elected in 2011, defeating incumbent George Dutro by less than 150 votes in the Republican primary. The primary and fall election swept all incumbents from office except at-large council member Jim Lienhoop, and all city Democrats from office.
A former president of Bartholomew County Right to Life, Hankins regularly split from fellow Republicans on council votes, consistently voting against tax abatements and increases in the city budget.
He took strong stands this year against an ordinance to ban paintball and similar weapons from use by children because of his support for the Second Amendment and against a student housing project at Columbus Municipal Airport over concerns that college students should live at home.
He won praise from Mayor Kristen Brown.
“I very much appreciate that he thinks independent and is very committed to open and transparent government, and I always believed his decision-making was guided by principles and not politics,” she said.
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