Andrew Wilhoite was one of the winners of the Republican Party’s primary for a spot on the Clinton Township school board in Boone County, Indiana. He has not commented on securing a spot on the general election ballot in November, however, as he’s currently in jail on charges of murdering his wife.
Wilhoite, a 39-year-old farmer, is one of three Republican candidates who will have a chance to pursue three open seats on the board, according to local TV station WTHR. He received 60 votes on Tuesday.
Wilhoite was arrested in March for allegedly killing his wife. He initially lied to investigators after Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite went missing on March 25 before ultimately copping to hitting her over the head with a flowerpot and dumping her body into a creek, where authorities eventually recovered her. Wilhoite said his wife had recently filed for divorce, and that they had been arguing about an affair he was having when he struck her with the pot. One of Wilhoite’s wife’s friends told WTHR that she had just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Brad King, co-director of the bi-partisan Indiana Election Division, told the local Kokomo Tribune that Wilhoite’s arrest does not preclude him from appearing on the ballot in November. “Under our system, you are innocent until you are proven guilty,” he said. “If a person is convicted of a felony, then they are no longer eligible to be a candidate and are ineligible to hold office.”
Wilhoite’s trial could begin in August at the earliest, but it’s likely that he’ll still be incarcerated by the time of the November election. Boone County Republican Chairwoman Debbie Ottinger has her fingers crossed that it won’t come to that, according to the Kokomo Tribune. “Our hope is that he asks to be removed from the ballot and we can just replace him,” she said, “but I don’t know if anyone has talked to him about that.”