Lueken secures Republican nomination



JASPER — Chad Lueken is ready to go fishing.

Campaigning for the Jasper Common Council District 3 seat took a big bite out of the Jasper man’s family time with his nine children in recent months.

So, whether it’s at Patoka Lake, the Parklands of Jasper or any of the secret spots he’d rather not have printed in The Herald, Lueken is eager to cast lines with his kids before gearing up for the general election in November.

He defeated Merrill Osterman by a count of 184-143 in Tuesday’s Republican primary.


“I’m blown away, really, with the show of support from so many different people,” Lueken said after the results were announced. “I’ve met so many new friends. And the number of people who have been so generous in their giving of time, talent and treasure. I knew we had a great city, but I’m convinced of that more now than ever, just in meeting so many of our quality, quality people.”

John Bell, the current holder of the council’s District 3 seat, is not running for re-election. A Democrat did not file to oppose the Republican nominee, but the party has until June 30 to fill the vacancy on the ballot.

Lueken ran on a platform of representing the values of strong work ethic, competitive spirit, generosity, religious zeal and pride of community — all principles he said are important to Jasper.

He and Osterman both spoke highly of each other and their respective campaigns on Tuesday night. Lueken congratulated his opponent on a competitive race, adding that he was “nothing but a gentleman.”

When Osterman looks back on his bid for the seat, he remembers the dedicated friends and family members who helped him along the way. He hasn’t decided if he’ll run for office again, but this experience has increased his appreciation of those who hold leadership positions and have been through elections of their own.

“It’s not very often that you have contested races in the Republican primary,” Osterman said. “This was good for the process. This was good for the community. Chad was a good competitor, he’s an upstanding guy, and we get along great. We have had a lot of fun along the way with the campaign, and we challenged each other. And he did a great job.”

Lueken recalled turning his door-to-door visits to district residents into family events by bringing his children with him.

After recharging outdoors with them, he plans to continue to attend common council meetings to observe the group’s operations, and will study the issues he could be tackling if he lands the seat.

“Thank you,” he said in a message to those who voted for him. “I am honored and humbled, and I will work very hard to earn this in the fall,” Lueken said. “This is not a finish line. This is a step in a process.”

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