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15 Seek Republican Nod for Souder’s Seat

Fifteen Republicans want their party’s nomination to replace former Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) on the November ballot.

On Saturday morning, as many as 504 precinct committeemen will gather in a high school gymnasium in Columbia City, just west of Fort Wayne, to pick their nominee.

The better-known candidates are state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, who placed a strong second in a U.S. Senate primary last month; state Reps. Randy Borror and Wes Culver; Fort Wayne Councilwoman Liz Brown; Bob Thomas, a car dealer who ran credibly against Souder in last month’s primary; and Ryan Elijah, a local television anchor.

A majority of Saturday’s vote is needed to secure the nomination.

Candidates who receive less than 5 percent of the vote on the first ballot will be eliminated; a 10 percent threshold applies to the second ballot. If needed, the third and subsequent ballots will eliminate the last-place finisher until someone reaches a majority.

It is likely that the winner will be named the nominee for both the Nov. 2 special election and general election, though technically the committeemen will hold two caucuses, one for each ballot opening.

Tom Hayhurst, a former Fort Wayne councilman, will be the Democratic nominee in both elections.

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