Trio of candidates vying for Republican nomination

Three Republicans are seeking their party’s vote in the May 5 primary for a chance to run for two at-large seats on the Seymour City Council this fall.

Darrin Boas, Dovie Stidham and Kendra Zumhingst all are relatively new to local politics although Boas is currently serving on the council. He was selected during a caucus in January to fill a vacancy left by Jennifer Siefker, who moved out of state.

The winners of the primary will face incumbent Democrat Lloyd Hudson and Shawn Malone, owner of a local pizza business, who is running as an independent.

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Boas, a branch manager with AVI Foodsystems, said he decided to run for office because he is proud of his hometown.

“I like to learn, and I want to have a positive impact on my community,” he said.

Zumhingst, who works at Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, said she already is active in the community through various groups and wants to get more people on board to support the city.

“I believe this is the next step to be able to bridge the gap from young leadership in the community to be able to work on implementing the ideas that will get Seymour where it could be,” she said.

As a small business owner, Stidham said she decided to run for council to make a difference and to give residents someone to whom they can turn with concerns or suggestions.

“I want to try to advance new ideas and ways of making the city a better place for all citizens,” she said.

If elected, Zumhingst said one of her main priorities would be to improve communication between city officials and residents.

“So many people think that no one is doing anything to work on making Seymour better and that is simply not the case,” she said. “There are folks working tirelessly to sell Seymour and what we have to offer to residents and visitors.”

She is a big supporter of a proposed plan to create a network of walking and biking trails throughout the city.

The trails would give people more options for transportation, exercise and leisure, she added.

“When you ask someone what Seymour needs, it almost always comes back to being able to do something, whether that is individually or with a family,” she said.

Stidham said the city needs to continue to support and promote the recently expanded skate park and look at doing more for youth.

“I believe the city needs to try to come up with more things for kids to do so we can keep them out of trouble,” she said.

She too supports the trails plan, but doesn’t want to see the city spend a lot of taxpayers’ money on it.

“Walking and biking trails are a good idea, and I support any initiative that promotes healthy exercise without excess cost to the city,” she said.

For Boas, there are other issues he would like to see the city address. Those include increasing options for affordable housing, improving blighted neighborhoods and attracting local college graduates to live and work here.

One problem the city is facing is rising costs of health insurance claims and officials are looking at ways to cut those expenses.

Zumhingst said instead of cutting health insurance benefits to employees, the city should look at taking part in a health incentive program.

“This would allow employees to be proactive with their health, instead of reactive therefore reducing claims,” she said.

To curb the city’s costs, Boas said employee contributions to health plans will have to be adjusted. But he also said the city should work with its health care provider to provide incentives for those living healthy lifestyles and possibly look at partnering with a local factory or the school system to offer a health care clinic for employees.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.