New Brownstown official eager to be involved


Growing up, Bethany Botkin Brewster said her parents taught her to make a positive impact in other people’s lives.

A spot recently opened up on the Brownstown Town Council when Ben Lewis resigned after he moved out of Ward 2, so Brewster decided to file her declaration of candidacy.

The Jackson County Republican Party then conducted a caucus to fill that vacancy, and Brewster was the only candidate.

Republican Party chairwoman Melissa Acton and Jackson County Clerk Amanda Lowery recently shared the news with Brewster that she had been chosen to replace Lewis.

“I feel like this is a good way for me to be involved in the community and be able to (make a positive impact),” Brewster said.

“I feel excited and honored to be chosen for such a role as this, but I am admittedly a bit nervous of the repercussions that may happen when I cast votes on important issues,” she said. “I will do my best to vote according to what is best for the town of Brownstown.”

Brewster, a political newcomer, attended her first town council meeting May 18. She was welcomed by the other four members during an executive session, and they filled her in on what goes on during meetings. She then was sworn in during the public meeting.

“I found it fascinating,” she said of attending her first meeting. “You’re in the inner workings of the town, and there are big decisions happening that it’s important to be involved in, and I’m excited that I get to help make those decisions.”

Brewster said she and the other council members voted on a few items during the meeting. She learned there are some big decisions coming up for the council to make.

“I’m especially interested in the downtown park,” she said of the Brownstown Heritage Park, which is planned for an empty lot downtown. “I’m just so interested in family opportunities and recreational opportunities, so that’s exciting to me.”

At tonight’s meeting, she said, they will vote on the council’s representative to the school board. Candidates Mary Ann Spray and Scott Butt appeared before the council at the last meeting.

The council also soon will vote on the police retirement pension program, Brewster said.

Brewster will finish out Lewis’ term, and she will be on the ballot for the Nov. 3 general election. She is currently the only Ward 2 candidate, but Brownstown residents have until Aug. 3 to visit the clerk’s office in the Jackson County Courthouse to file a declaration of candidacy for the council seats.

In the general election, no more than one Democrat and one Republican representing each of the five wards in town will be on the ballot.

Other Republicans who have filed are John Nolting, the council’s current president, for Ward 1; incumbent C.J. Foster and Matt Smith for Ward 3; and Sally Cate Lawson for Ward 4.

The only Democrat to file so far is longtime incumbent Bill Sweeney of Ward 5.

Since there are currently two Republicans up for the Ward 3 spot, Lowery said the party will conduct a town convention sometime between Aug. 3 and 10 for eligible Republican voters to cast a vote for the candidate to appear on the general election ballot.

Town residents also will vote on a clerk-treasurer in November. Democratic incumbent Dave Willey is currently the only candidate.

Brewster file

Name: Bethany Botkin Brewster

Age: 32

Education: Brownstown Central High School (2001); Indiana University (2005, bachelor’s degree in elementary education); Moody Bible Institute (currently working on obtaining a certificate of Biblical studies)

Occupation: Co-owner of Happy Hearts Day Care in Seymour; substitute teacher at Brownstown Elementary School; stay-at-home mom

Family: Husband, Ben Brewster; sons, Conner, 6, and Owen, 3; parents, Dan and Micki Botkin

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7080.