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Three Republican candidates seek County Auditor seats

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Donald Schoeff, Sr.
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Jill Landrum
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Cheryl DeWeese Baldridge

By JENNIFER PERYAM - jperyam@h-ponline.com

Three Republican candidates are seeking the county auditor seats in the May primary.

They are Cheryl DeWeese Baldridge, Jill Landrum and Donald Schoeff, Sr.

Cheryl DeWeese Baldridge

DeWeese Baldridge said she is seeking the auditor seat to provide accuracy in the office.

DeWeese Baldridge, 53, Roanoke, is a 1983 Northside High School graduate. She attended IPFW and Columbus Community College, earning an associates degree.

She served as a deputy in the Huntington County auditor’s office for five years.

“That is what has led me to serve as auditor. I enjoy working with numbers and making sure the community’s needs are met,” DeWeese Baldridge said.

She lived in Fort Wayne and worked in the construction business doing accounts payable and receivable and ordered materials for job sites.

She then became a realtor with Century 21 Bradley working in that position for over 24 years.

She also coached men’s and women’s tennis at Huntington University.

“From the first day I walked into the auditor’s office, I knew I wanted to run for auditor,” DeWeese Baldridge said.

She said she wants to do the right thing for taxpayers and provide accuracy and professionalism in the office.

She said she loves interacting with Huntington County taxpayers.

If elected, her goals are to explain things to taxpayers in a method they can understand.

She said her experience as a current deputy in the auditor’s office will assist her if she is elected auditor.

“In the office now, I do all of the net assessed values calculations and put in the upcoming tax rates and get things ready for the tax bills to be prepared,” DeWeese Baldridge said.

She has learned to read legal descriptions and helps with transfer of deeds. She also completes GIS work for the auditor’s office and draws the new parcels that are on the Beacon and GIS system.

She serves on the Huntington County Plat Committee that decides how to subdivide properties and decides what qualifications need to be met.

She has attended the state’s last 10 auditor’s conferences and also attended tax sale conferences.

“I love the small community because everyone is so friendly,” DeWeese Baldridge said.

She is married to Rocky and they have six kids between the two of them.

Jill Landrum

Landrum said she is seeking the Huntington County Auditor position to provide accurate information to the county.

Landrum, 46, has been employed at Huntington North High School Athletic Department for 10 years.

She is the school’s athletic department’s administrative assistant.

“I help plan athletic events, schedule home and away events and handle payroll,” Landrum said.

She also does the accounts receivable and payable and makes sure things meet State Board of Accounts rules.

She graduated from Huntington North High School in 1989 and attended Purdue University, graduating in 1992 with a law and society degree.

After college, she returned to Huntington and worked at a warehouse facility in Fort Wayne. She handled their shipping and receiving work.

She then worked at American Specialty Insurance Services in Roanoke in 1997. She worked her way up to assistant vice president in the company’s compliance division.

The company ensures high risk cases for amateur and professional athletes and amusement parks across the United States.

She then stayed at home because she and her husband adopted their first son in 1999. When he was four months old, she found out she was pregnant with triplets.

To supplement the family income, she went to real estate appraisal school and became a real estate appraiser.

“I learned how to value homes and I’ve worked with plat maps and land parcels,” Landrum said.

She was then approached by The Indiana Association of Realtors to run their office. She was able to do that out of her home. She assisted with memberships and code of ethics and bookkeeping as well as making sure grievances complied with the national and state association rules.

“My kids are at the point where the three are seniors in high school, when they are choosing new chapters in their lives,” Landrum said.

She said she was approached about running for the auditor’s office. She thought it was a good time in her life to give back to the community.

“My familiarity with the State Board of Accounts, paying bills and processing payroll will definetly be a benefit,” Landrum said.

She said her background in land parcels will also help prepare her for being auditor.

“I love the small town atmosphere and that my kids want to attend college here,” Landrum said.

She described herself as hard working and said she values her integrity and reputation.

“I am an outgoing and friendly person and here to serve the voters,” Landrum said.

She is married to Todd and they have four children.

Donald Schoeff, Sr.

Donald Schoeff, Sr. is a former Huntington County auditor and is running for the position again to serve the community.

Schoeff, 75, Huntington, is a 1960 Huntington North graduate. He completed the Indiana State Police Academy in 1972 and became an Indiana State Police officer. He served for 30 years.

“My father, Wallace, was a police officer. I liked the idea of being able to help and do things for other people,” Schoeff said.

He originally was a police officer in Grant County, transferred to Hamilton County and then went over to Fort Wayne and came to Huntington County to serve with the state police.

He served eight years as county auditor in Huntington, beginning in 2000.

“I enjoyed being with people and serving them. I liked helping them get their mortgage exemptions filed,” Schoeff said.

He said he has experience in the position that will prepare him to serve again.

During the time he served as county auditor, he also served on the Board of Indiana County Auditors Association as president. He also served on an advisory board for the state auditor working on legislation that would be beneficial to the county.

He spoke about the importance of the county auditor’s office.

“All of your exemptions go through the auditor’s office, payroll and the bills are paid through the office. The office is an integral part of the county,” Schoeff said.

He said his leadership abilities will bring a lot to the office.

While he was county auditor one of the changes he made to the office was doing away with forms that were filed in three areas and then were filed on the computer. The files were for exemptions.

During his term as county auditor, payroll went to direct deposit for county employees.

“When I was county auditor our employees did not just sit at the desk, but we got up and greeted the people at the counter,” Schoff said.

If elected he said he will always continue to meet and greet people with a smile and he would expect his employees to do the same.

He is married to Margaret. They have seven children and 13 grandchildren.