Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

May 7, 2012

Meet the candidates


— Candidates running for office in the May 8 Primary Election were invited by the Hendricks County Flyer to submit a photo and profile to introduce themselves to Hendricks County voters.

Here are those who chose to participate, introducing themselves in their own words:


Jonathan Blake, a young yet experienced leader, is seeking the office of Hendricks County Council, At-Large. He is a native of Brownsburg, and graduated from Brownsburg High School in 2002.

After graduating high school, he began working in local government while attending courses at Ivy Tech for Design Technology with a concentration in architectural design. He works in urban/community planning and has served various board appointments in Brownsburg, including the Advisory Plan Commission and the Redevelopment Commission.

In his spare time, Blake runs a small construction and remodeling business (RCS Construction, LLC), serves on the board of trustees for his church, and as president of Haunts of Hidden River, Inc., a local non-profit that raises money for local charities.

As a member of the county council, Blake will focus on the following priorities:

n Accountability Ñ achieved through fiscal responsibility while maintaining quality services that residents depend on. As well as maintaining, updating, and improving failing infrastructure.

n Community Ñ by collaborating with the local government entities (Brownsburg, Avon, Plainfield, Danville, etc.) to attract new businesses, finish the Ronald Reagan Parkway, and benefit from cost-sharing on large purchases (e.g. road salt).

n Transparency Ñ through various means to distribute information to residents and businesses about upcoming meetings and recent decisions affecting them.

For additional information or to get involved, contact Blake by e-mailing to j.k.blake@att.net or by calling 858-2977.


Mike Blinn is the Democratic candidate for Indiana State House District 91. Like many political moderates, he changed his party affiliation a few years ago because he was frustrated by talking points and radical ideology crowding out thoughtful debate and compromise in government.

Blinn looks forward to working to shift the focus of the General Assembly back to solving the real problems our state faces, instead of answering wish lists from out-of-state interest groups like ALEC. He says heÕs a skeptic by nature and by training, and this community can rest assured that he will work hard to understand both sides of difficult issues, ask the hard questions, and take sides based on evidence, not slogans.

Blinn is a graduate of the IU School of Law in Bloomington, and he practices law in Indianapolis.

He lives in Plainfield with his wife Mandy and their two little boys.


Caleb Brown is seeking an at-large seat on the Hendricks County Council.

Brown was born and raised in Hendricks County. He received his bachelor degree in business administration from Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 2005. He has been working in the construction materials industry ever since, and currently is an account and credit manager for U.S. Aggregates INC.

He lives in Brownsburg with his wife Heather and their three children.

Brown believes that the fiscal responsibility of the county is of utmost importance and should be treated with great regard. He believes in working together with the commissioners, councilmen, and the people to make the best fiscal decisions for the county.

He believes that he can provide the proper leadership to make tough decisions in regard to infrastructure, economic growth, and business development.

Most importantly, Brown will listen to the publicÕs needs and goals, and do the absolute best to achieve them.

For more information, visit the website at www.calebbrownforcouncil.com.


Democrat John E. (Sam) Follis II is a candidate for the office of State Representative for District 40. His intent is to bring the voice of the people back into the legislative process. Follis understands the frustration so many feel when their voice seems to fall on deaf ears.

As State Representative, Follis will meet with his constituents on a regular basis. He is available to discuss the issues that are important to the residents of the district. He believes in listening to the concerns of the people. The agenda of special interests groups will not override the voice of the people Follis will represent at the Statehouse.

Follis has been representing the interests of workers through his current position as training director of the Insulation Industry Apprenticeship Program for 14 years. He also served six years as a business representative for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators in Indianapolis, representing a membership throughout 32 counties in Indiana. Follis also works for Performance Contracting, Inc. as a professional insulation mechanic with 22 years in the business. He graduated with a bachelorÕs degree in Christian Ministries in 1986 from Lincoln Christian University.

He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Plainfield, American Legion Post 145 in Avon, ABATE of Indiana Region 11, National Rifle Association, Union SportsmenÕs Alliance, and the Hendricks County Democratic Party.

Follis has two children. His daughter, Emily Follis, is a sophomore at the University of Southern Indiana and his son, Sam Follis, is a sophomore at Cascade High School. He and his wife Charollette live in Avon and attend Crossroads Church.

For more information, visit the website at www.follisforstaterep.com.


Judge Robert W. Freese is seeking re-election as judge for Hendricks Superior Court No. 1. He is completing his 12th year as judge.

He is a graduate of Marian College (now Marian University), Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis, and the Indiana Judicial College.

Judge Freese has served on the Indiana Judges Association Board of Managers for more than 10 years. He is currently the chair of the Probate Committee of the Indiana Judicial Conference and previously served on the Education Committee.

Judge Freese is a member of the Brownsburg Kiwanis, Brownsburg American Legion, and the St. Malachy Knights of Columbus. He has also served as a coach for many middle school and high school athletic teams for Brownsburg Community Schools.

Judge Freese is a motorcycle safety instructor for ABATE of Indiana, an instrument rated private pilot, and occasionally plays a round of golf. He is actively involved with the Miracle Ride for Riley and the Indianapolis Air Show benefiting Riley Hospital for Children; serving on the boards for both organizations.

Judge Freese and his wife Karen live in Brownsburg and have three adult children.


Larry Hesson is seeking re-election to the Hendricks County Council.

He and his wife Madalyn, residents of Plainfield, have two daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren.

Hesson holds a bachelors degree from IU and a law degree from IU School of Law - Indianapolis. He is a former judge of Hendricks Superior Court II and was a senior judge for several years.

Hesson has served 11 years as the elected president of the county council and was the 2006 Indiana County Council Member of the Year. He is serving his second term as president of the Indiana County Councils Association and is a member of the executive board of the Association of Indiana Counties, where he has served on the legislative committee and for which he has testified before Indiana General Assembly committees a number of times.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Hendricks College Network and of the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority. He serves on the Hendricks County Community Corrections Advisory Board and on the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

Hesson is a member and past president of the Hendricks County Bar Association and is a member of the Plainfield Optimist Club, where he has coached youth soccer for the past 13 seasons.

He is also a member of American Mensa Ltd. and Central Indiana Mensa.


Daniel Kinnamon is running for the Senate District 35 seat.

He resides in Plainfield with his wife of 17 years, Debi. They have two elementary school aged children, Victoria and Brock. He is an active member of Plainfield United Methodist Church.

Kinnamon attended Valparaiso University on athletic and academic scholarships and received a bachelorÕs degree in business management. After college he went to work in private industry while attaining his certification as a certified public accountant (CPA). While working full-time, he then attended Butler University to pursue his masterÕs in business administration (MBA).

In 2004, he became active the Hendricks County Young Republicans (YRs). Over the next eight years, his coalition building and hard work was recognized when he was elected as state chair of the Indiana Federation of Young Republicans. Since that time, his peers at the national level voted him chair of the State ChairmenÕs Association.

In January 2010, he co-founded Blackjack Capital Partners, a business brokerage firm that works with venture capital, private equity and lenders to find opportunities for investment and job growth.

His favorite pastime is coaching his childrenÕs sports teams, but Daniel also enjoys reading biographies and exercising.

For more information, visit the website at www.VoteKinnamon.com; look for him on Facebook at Kinnamon for State Senate or Twitter at DKinnamon; e-mail him at Daniel@VoteKinnamon.com; or call 430-3646.


Kirby Kirkpatrick is a candidate for Hendricks County Council At Large.

He is the owner of Success Express and currently serves with several community organizations. He is a member of the board of directors and is a past president of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, is a board member of the Hendricks College Network, is a member of the Avon and Mooresville Chamber of Commerces and the Plainfield Optimists.

Additionally, Kirkpatrick has served with the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership, the Plainfield Downtown Revitalization Committee, and is a graduate of Leadership Hendricks County. He rounds out his service by teaching Sunday School at First Baptist Church of Plainfield.

His work with many in county leadership through civic and charitable volunteer opportunities has provided a valuable insight into the needs of a growing, suburban county. As a small business owner, he has firsthand experience of the role government plays in developing a climate of economic growth.

Kirkpatrick also spends time as a much sought after trainer and writer, traveling throughout the United States providing workshops on a variety of personal and professional development skills.

Last but not least, he is a husband and father. He has been happily married to his wife Paula for 18 years and is the father of two beautiful girls: Kayla, a freshmen in college, and Kori, a high school senior.

More information may be found online at www.facebook.com/kirbyforcouncil.


Tara E. Nelson is seeking the U.S. House District 4 seat.

Nelson says sheÕs running for congress to better represent the middle class and those less fortunate. SheÕs committed to making education and health care affordable; ensuring fair gasoline prices by regulating the stock market; creating better access to health care for veterans and ensuring they have employment when they come home from service; protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; lowering the national deficit by withdrawing from Afghanistan; and creating tax incentives for businesses that improve the economy.

Nelson said she is qualified for the office because she has formal leadership training and experience in two Fortune 500 companies. She has five years of management experience, and sheÕs Project Management Professional (PMP) Certified. She has been re-elected as president of Southaven VillaÕs LLC for six years. In addition to her leadership experience, she also has experience in technical writing, validation and quality and believes those job skills will serve her well in congress. She said she will write legislation and identify loopholes and earmarks on her own.

Her priority in congress will be to improve the economy. Big company executives have received aÊ500 percent salary increase in the past 15 years and the middle class received 5 percent.

Nelson says our middle class and lower income salaries are frozen, and our jobs are being outsourced overseas. To fix those issues, she said we must change our tax incentives to reward all companies to hire and retain American employees; and eliminate the tax incentives for outsourcing.

Nelson works as an IT project manager, resides in Lafayette, and has a 10-year-old daughter, Alexandria Elizabeth Nelson.

For more information, visit her website at http://taranelsonforcongress.com.


Lester Terry Moore is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress District 4 seat.

A graduate of Indiana State University, he earned a bachelor of science degree in secondary teaching for social studies (government and history). He also attended Indiana University Northwest, taking accounting courses.

Moore is a Indiana certified assessor-appraisor, with a Level III certification.

He retired as a control room operator with Northern Indiana Public Service Company after 35 years. He also served as Newton County assessor from 2007 through Ô10.

Some of his main priorities will be:

n Jobs Ñ HeÕll work to return jobs to the U.S. He says weÕve had a flow of jobs overseas in the last 20 years to where our most common items are now made overseas.

n Deficit Ñ The deficit is a major economic threat to the country and Moore said it needs to be worked down to a Òmanageable level.Ó Reducing the debt will have to be done over a period of years.

n Social Security Ñ As Social Security is vital to AmericanÕs retirement, he will oppose any attempt to Òprivatize.Ó it.

n Medicare Ñ As Medicare is a vital medical insurance program for Americans when they reach 65, he will oppose any attempt to ÒprivatizeÓ or drastically change it.

n Health care Ñ Moore says all Americans should have access to quality and affordable health care.

n Defense & military Ñ He says America has to maintain a strong military for defense and not forget our veterans once they come home.

n Education Ñ He says we need to invest in the future by continuing to provide educational opportunities.

n Energy Ñ The public and private sector must continue to invest in research and technology for energy independence.

n Second Amendment Ñ Moore supports the second amendment on the right to keep and bear arms.

n Postal service Ñ He will work to keep the local post offices open in our communities.

Moore said he would appreciate hearing from constituents. For more information, visit his website at mooreforcongress2012.com.


Richard ÒDickÓ Thompson is seeking re-election to the Hendricks County Council. As a current councilman, he also serves as a member of the Hendricks County Fair Board and as president of the Hendricks County Tourism Commission.

Thompson and his wife, Clara, have been actively involved in Hendricks County for more than 50 years while raising and enjoying five children and 17 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Upon graduating from Purdue University, Thompson began a 34-year career as a math and science teacher, coach, and principal at North Salem and Tri-West high schools. He currently serves as an advisory board member of the North Salem State Bank and for many years operated a painting business and was associated with family agricultural interests.

Thompson was actively involved with the establishment of Leadership Hendricks County and the Hendricks College Network. He has been a Republican State Convention delegate, platform committee member, and currently serves as precinct committeeman. From 1986 to Ô93, he was the Hendricks County Republican Chairman. He is the immediate past president of the Hendricks County Retired Teachers Association.

In 1979, Thompson was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives and in Ô84 to the Indiana Senate, where he served in a leadership capacity. He currently is a governmental and legislative affairs consultant.

Thompson said his immediate goals are to keep Hendricks County fiscally sound, to well maintain the existing county highway and building infrastructure, and to work toward the completion of the Ronald Reagan Parkway.

He said he believes his past experience in working with state, county, town, township, and school government serves him well in helping to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Hendricks County.


Democrat and Plainfield resident Mark Waterfill is running for Indiana State Senate, District 35. The seat is currently held by Republican Mike Young.

A practicing attorney for 25 years, Waterfill has focused mainly on the areas of commercial litigation and employment law. He is a partner at Benesch Attorneys at Law, which merged with Dann Pecar Newman and Kleiman in 2010. He is the former chair of the Indiana State Bar AssociationÕs section on Labor and Employment Law and has served as an Indianapolis Bar Association Fellow.

Widely recognized as an expert in his field, he is a frequent lecturer on employment law issues. He also is one of the owners of Sugar Grove Senior Living, a 164-unit senior apartment complex on Moon Road in Plainfield.

Senate District 35 needs a positive voice at the Statehouse, Waterfill said, adding that our leaders need to focus on issues like education and economic development, which will ultimately strengthen the district and put the next generation on solid footing to compete in the global economy.

In addition to his professional work, Waterfill is actively engaged in numerous community organizations. He has served on the boards of the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Indiana, Make a Wish Foundation of Indiana, Bethany Christian Services, Veterans Service Foundation, and the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation. He also is a member of the Amo Bird Dog Conservation Club and national Shoot to Retrieve Association.

Waterfill ran for the U.S. Congress in the Indiana Seventh District as a Democrat in 1988.

A native of southern Indiana, Waterfill is a graduate of both Hanover College and Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He is a former member of Teamsters Local 135 and a 2nd and 3rd class welder at Jeffboat.

He said he will advocate for working men and women.

Waterfill and Missy, his wife of 29 years, are the parents of four children. Mrs. Waterfill is a middle school English teacher in Monrovia. They have lived in Plainfield since 1986 and all four children have attended Plainfield schools. The family worships at Plainfield Christian Church, where Waterfill is a Sunday School teacher.


Republican State Senator R. Michael Young has proudly served the citizens of Senate District 35 since he was elected in 2000. Senator Young lived in Belleville as a child and represented citizens of Plainfield and Guilford Township as its state Representative from 1986 to Ô92.

An attorney in private practice, Young is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Economic Development. His dedication to and expertise on issues such as job creation and economic growth have earned him the endorsements of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana ManufacturerÕs Association, and the Associated Builders and Contractors.

In addition, he has been endorsed by Indiana Right to Life, the National Rifle Association, and the American Family Association of Indiana PAC for his strong defense of family, social, and Constitutional freedoms.

Young is also a member of the Senate Committees on Pensions & Labor and Corrections, Criminal & Civil Matters. He is an ex-officio member of the IUPUI Board of Advisors and a member of the Wayne and Decatur Township GOP Clubs.

He is widowed and has three children and four grandchildren.