Newcomer sets up race for North school board


A newcomer is making teacher retention a priority in his bid to join the North Montgomery School Board.

Darrin Bechtel, 33, is challenging incumbent Kathy Crawford for the North Union Township seat, setting up the only school board race in November’s election.

Bechtel, who graduated from North Montgomery High School in 2005, has children in the district and relatives who teach at the schools. He is an agent for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.

“I’m passionate about our kids here in the community and making sure we give them the best possible education that we can,” he said.

Bechtel said the district should be competitive with area schools, including on salaries, to keep teachers from leaving for other districts.

“We’re losing a lot of young teachers, and so I want to try to help to figure out how we can make a great working environment for all of our educators and keep them around,” he said.

A message was left with Crawford seeking comment.

Two other North school board members are on the ballot this year, including at-large member Jess Cain and Madison Township’s Karin Odle.

In Crawfordsville, Susan Albrecht and Steve McLaughlin are keeping their seats for another term. Crawfordsville school board members all serve at-large.

On the ballot at South Montgomery are incumbents Daryl Hutson (Ripley Township), Kyle Blaydes (Scott Township) and Julie Hess (South Union Township).

The rest of the field is set for the local election.

Independent Jacob Arthur is challenging Republican incumbent John Frey for the District 1 seat on the board of commissioners.

District 3 commissioner Dan Guard is unopposed in his bid for a full term in his own right after Republicans appointed him to replace Phil Bane, who resigned in 2019.

It’s a four-way race for the three at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council featuring Republicans Jake Bohlander, Gary Booth and David Hunt and Democrat Summer Ervin. Booth is the only incumbent.

Hunt has also filed for the caucus to serve out the term of at-large councilman Terry Hockersmith, who died Aug. 6.

Republican Daniel Petrie and independent Chris Redmaster are in the running for Superior Court 2 judge. Incumbent Peggy Lohorn is retiring.

Superior Court 1 Judge Heather Barajas, a Republican, is unopposed in her bid for another term.

Clerk Karyn Douglas, recorder Jennifer Bentley, coroner Darren Forman and surveyor Tom Cummins, all Republicans, are also running unopposed.


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