GOP votes for 10 rounds in replacing McClure
Party officials voting in the special caucus election Thursday evening faced significant deadlock in trying to narrow down a field of seven candidates.
Voelker is a Saint Mary's College graduate and director of RiverBend Cancer Services, serving a cause she said she has been passionate about since she was 21 when a 7-year-old cousin died of leukemia.
Voelker also previously served as president of the Junior League of South Bend.
"I'm not interested in politics," she told party leaders Thursday. "I'm interested in what's best for Mishawaka.
McClure is vacating her seat because she was elected to the St. Joseph County Council in November.
In addition to Voelker, Josh Holt, Andy Place, Terry DeMaegd, Jeff Wisler, Nick Troiola and Liz Stoll also ran for the seat.
Voters quickly narrowed the list to Voelker, Stoll and DeMaegd but were stuck on the three for several rounds, during which the candidates spoke and answered questions in an attempt to sway party leaders.
DeMaegd was eliminated next, and Voelker and Stoll faced off for several more voting rounds that ended in ties.
Stoll is a Mishawaka native working in the real estate industry.
Deb Fleming, chair of the county Republican Party, said the 10 rounds of voting that eventually elected Voelker was likely a record.
When she first moved to the area, Voelker said Realtors suggested she look at homes in Granger, but she fell in love with a historical home in Mishawaka and its quaint downtown.
"I love the hometown feel," she said.
Staff writer Madeline Buckley: