Tyler Moore unopposed in mayoral election

Jul. 6—Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore is a shoo-in to win his reelection bid. That is, if he can simply vote for himself.

Moore will run unopposed in this year's general election as no Democratic, independent, third party or write-in candidate has filed to run against the incumbent by the June 30 and July 3 deadlines, according to the Howard County Clerk's office.

The lack of competition in the mayoral race is historic for the city, marking the first time since at least 1900 Kokomo has not had at least two candidates for mayor on the general election ballot, according to Tribune and other local newspaper archives.

It may be the first time ever, but specific election results and how many candidates ran in each election prior to 1900 could not easily and definitively be determined by the Tribune.

Moore won in 2019's general election by a landslide, beating Democratic candidate Abbie Smith. The former county commissioner set a record for most votes received by a Kokomo mayoral candidate with 9,928. That beat the previous record set in 1963 by Republican John Miller.

Now, without any competition, Moore is set to hold the record for highest win percentage by a mayoral candidate.

"I'm honored and as blessed now as I was four years ago with that last historic win," Moore said Thursday.


There will be a handful of contested City Council races.

The Howard County Republican Party has filled every other race in the municipal election, including the clerk's office and all nine City Council races.

Four of the incumbent Republican candidates for City Council — Tom Miklik, Matt Grecu, Tony Stewart and Ray Collins — ran in 2019's elections.

Others, including Greg Davis and David Capshaw, were elected through a party caucus election following resignations by previous seat holders.

Jeff Plough, running for District 4, filed his candidacy after incumbent Roger Stewart announced he was not running. Roger Stewart was elected by party caucus to his seat after Greg Jones resigned two weeks into his term following the uncovering of Facebook posts from 2015 showing him using anti-Mulim and Islamic remarks.

Joni DeLon, running for District 2, was elected via a party caucus after the death of Lynn Rudolph.

David Capshaw, running for District 1, was also elected via a party caucus after former councilman Jason Acord resigned following revelations that he did not live in District 1. Capshaw beat Acord in the May primary.

Miklik, currently the incumbent for District 6, switched to running in the at large race for this year's elections. That opened the door for Crystal Sanburn to run for the District 6 seat. She beat Kevin Summers in the Republican primary in May.

Going into the general election, the Howard County Democratic Party had only two races filled on the ballot. Between the primary and the July 3 deadline for the party to fill any ballot vacancies, the party has filled an additional three council races. No Democrat filed to run in the city clerk's race.

Running for one of the three open at large races are Democrats Essie Foster and Adrienne Akers.

Tashawnna Summers is running as a Democrat in District 1.

Terry Bryant is also running for District 1 as an independent.

District 1 covers the city's northern side.

Bob Stephenson, the local Democratic Party's treasurer, is in District 2's race.

Michael Katcher is running as the Democratic Candidate in the District 3 race. He will face Republican Ray Collins in November.

Filling five out of the nine City Council races gives the Democratic Party a chance to regain control of the board, but doing so will be an uphill battle for the party as it continues its rebuild.

The Democratic Party has not won a contested race since before 2019 and lost the District 3 Howard County Council race, which had been a historically reliable Democratic seat for the last two decades.

Going into November, Howard County Republican Chairwoman Jennifer Jack said she is "excited."

"Hard work, proven leadership, diversity, honesty, and integrity," Jack said in a statement. "These are just some of the traits exemplified by our Republican community leaders on the municipal ballot. I can't wait to help them cross the finish line in November, so we can continue to work together as we move the city of Kokomo forward."

A message left for Howard County Democratic Chairwoman Lisa Washington seeking comment was not returned.

UPDATE: This article has been updated with a statement from Moore.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.