Residents of Zionsville had the opportunity to ask questions of the town’s candidates for mayor and town council Tuesday evening, Oct. 22, at Zionsville Town Hall.

Town council candidates took the stage from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., followed by the mayor and his challenger from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The forum was sponsored by the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce.

Residents are voting in the town’s first-ever contested mayoral race, as incumbent Tim Haak, a Republican, faces challenger Emily Styron, a Democrat.

Zionsville didn’t hold a primary election in May because there were no contested races within parties, but this spring and summer, several Democrats and one Libertarian declared their candidacies have set up races for mayor, town council District 2, District 3 and District 4, and at-large seats. Two school referendums are also high-profile items on the ballot this fall.

Haak is seeking a second term as mayor. He was the town’s first elected mayor, taking the oath of office in January 2016. The town’s ability to elect a mayor came after the primary but before the general election in 2015, and Haak was named the Republican candidate. No other party offered a candidate that year.

All seven Zionsville Town Council seats are also on the ballot this year, but not all are contested.

No incumbents are running for their at-large seats, and Zionsville residents will pick two new town council members from a field of five candidates. They are: Republicans Brad Burk and Alexander S. Choi, Democrats Bret G. Brewer and Kristine Towns, and Libertarian Michael I Kaminski.

The race for the District 2 seat is between Republican Jason Plunkett, who is presently serving as an at-large councilman, and Democrat Julie Johns-Cole. The District 2 seat is presently held by Kevin Spees, who did not file for reelection.

Republican Craig J. Melton is facing challenger Tim Ottinger for the District 3 council seat, which is presently held by Tom Schuler, who will leave the seat at the end of his term.

And, the race for the District 4 seat has Republican Joe Culp facing Democrat Andrea Simmons for the seat being vacated by Elizabeth Hopper.

Incumbent Republicans Bryan Traylor, District 1 and Joshua Garrett, District 5, are set to return to their respective seats unopposed. Samantha Spencer is running unopposed for Zionsville Town Judge, a seat she took over in earlier this year from Erika Singler.

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