Hendricks County Republicans rode the wave that returned Indiana to a red state in the general election.
Matt Whetstone survived a challenge from Democrat Nicholas Schmutte to replace Eric Wathen on the Hendricks County Board of Commissioners.
Whetstone, who is executive director of governmental affairs for the Indianapolis-based Krieg DeVault law firm, won a Republican caucus in August to replace Wathen on the ballot. Wathen announced he wouldn't seek re-election because he's moving out of his district.
Whetstone previously served on the Brownsburg Town Council and represented Hendricks and Morgan counties in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007. He said Tuesday evening that he only left the legislature to earn more income for his family.
"This gave me the opportunity to come back in at the local level and participate Ñ provide some of those skills that I have in helping people," Whetstone said. "For me, it's just a passion for service. I think you're either born with it or you're not."
He admits he has big shoes to fill in replacing Wathen on the commission. In fact, when Whetstone heard he was resigning after his current term, he urged him not to.
"I don't think we've seen the last of Eric," he said. "We'll hate to lose him for now, but he'll be back."
Whetstone isn't a new face in local politics, but Caleb Brown is. The Brownsburg resident earned an at-large seat on the County Council, along with incumbents Larry Hesson and Richard Thompson. They defeated Democratic challengers Adam Kilbride, Karen O'Brien, and Greg Reynolds.
"We definitely put quite an effort in this spring and fall," Brown said of his campaign.
A native of Hendricks County, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business in 2005. His background is in the construction materials industry, and currently he's an account and credit manager for U.S. Aggregates Inc.