Previewing the Midterm Elections, Part 2

Spotlighting some key local races just ahead of the November elections.

Braedon Troy, Staff Writer

If you’ve driven anywhere in the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed a massive number of campaign signs and ads everywhere you look. This can only mean that the midterm elections are growing ever closer. There are a wide variety of contested local elections that you should be aware of this year, so carry on, dear reader! Let’s take a look at some of the hottest battlegrounds in our area this cycle.

After more of the statewide races (covered in my first “Previewing the 2022 Midterm Elections” article), the top-balloted races are certainly those for state house and state senate. These are likely the signs you’ll see the most around the local area. Most of the eastern part of Michiana is in state senate district 8 (full maps can be found at and this race will see Republican incumbent Linda Rogers take on Democrat Mindy Fountain. Rogers has served as a state senator since 2018, and is a local business owner, including partially owning Juday Creek Golf Course. Fountain has served as a diplomat and currently is an associate director at Notre Dame. Controversially, Rogers was a co-author of an education bill that received national attention for a fellow Republican senator claiming that the bill would require neutral opinions on Nazism and Marxism (the senator later apologized).

As for state house races, Democrat Ross Deal will look to unseat Republican Jake Teshka, and Democrat Heidi Beidinger aims to do the same to Republican Dale DeVon. Deal has served as a police officer, Marine, and member of the Mishawaka City Council. Teshka works in the private sector as a business development officer, and unseated Deal from this seat back in 2020. DeVon owns his own construction company and has served in the State House since 2012, while Beidinger is the president of the Saint Joseph County Board of Health. Notably, much of the focus in these races, particularly with Beidinger and DeVon, has been the issue of abortion, as Indiana’s state legislature was one of the first in the country to enact new abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court struck down Roe V. Wade this summer.

The county commissioner and county council races have also seen their fair share of drama this fall, as redistricting of the commissioner maps caused a drastically different race than what was originally expected. However, when the dust of local politics settled, the race resulted in local Democrat cardiologist Don Westerhausen (who lost two close state house races to Dale DeVon in 2018 and 2020) taking on Republican Carl Baxmeyer, who has been involved in local politics since the 1980s in a wide number of positions. As for county council, the amount of races happening this fall are beyond the amount of time for this article, but all involve races between Democrats and Republicans looking to take control of the board. Most notable amongst these races is the District B race, which covers Northeast South Bend, parts of Granger, and Clay Township. Republican challenger Amy Drake looks to unseat Democrat Corey Noland. Drake has served as a speechwriter in the U.S House, a local news reporter, and is the mother of several children. Noland has represented District B since 2009 and has also taken part in the leadership of the IBEW. 

 These races are far from the only key races this fall in the Michiana area. Most notably, school board races have been a highly controversial point in many communities this year, with a heavy conservative push into the typically duller races. I highly recommend you read this article from the South Bend Tribune on these elections:

Overall, local politics is just as important as national politics, if not more so. So this fall, either right now at the County-City Building, or on November 8th, get out and vote!