An Indiana man currently jailed on charges of killing his wife won the Republican primary for a seat on the Clinton Township Board. Andrew Wilhoite managed to get 60 votes in the primary election to advance to the general election along with two other Republican candidates.
Wilhoite was jailed in March after prosecutors accused him of murdering his wife, Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite. She was reported missing, and Wilhoite told police he last saw her sleeping on the couch following a fight. He suggested that she may have left to stay with her sister.
During a search of the house, investigators found blood in the master bedroom, and Wilhoite eventually admitted that he hit her with a concrete flower pot after she attacked him. He then told the police that he put her body in his truck and dumped it in a nearby creek.
Despite being charged with a felony, Wilhoite was allowed to remain on the ballot.
“Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty,” Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, explained to the Indianapolis Star. “If a candidate is ultimately convicted, then depending upon the timing of that conviction, the person can be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy.”
If he is convicted before the election, he would be disqualified from running. That would create a major headache for local officials, especially if his name must be removed from the ballots after they are mailed out.
“It would be a huge situation for that to happen because you’ve already had people vote, so then you would not be able to count that vote for that one, but you would add the new name on, then you would have to have new ballots printed and that’s what the future voters would use up through election day in November,” Debbie Ottinger, Boone County Republican Chairwoman, told WXIN.
Currently, there are no Democratic candidates running, so if Wilhoite gets a single vote in the general election, he will win a seat on the board, barring a felony conviction.