Former Republican candidate endorses Democratic coroner hopeful

The Bartholomew County Democrat running for county coroner received an unusual endorsement this week — the losing candidate in the May Republican primary.

Republican funeral home director Ron Shadley announced earlier this week on Facebook that he was endorsing Democrat Paula Rothrock in the November election. Shadley ran for the Republican nomination earlier this year, coming up short to Clayton Nolting, a Columbus Police Officer.

Shadley explains that he believes the office needs changes, which led him to endorse the opposing party candidate.

“One, she is professional,” Shadley said. “Two, she is a medical person. She works at Columbus Regional in the emergency room. She is a former law enforcement officer, (but) no current ties to the law enforcement agencies in the county, which I think is important.”

“So, she knows the medical side of it, she knows the legal side of it. And working in the emergency room. you are going to see and talk to people in high-stress times of their life, emotional times in their life. And I feel like she has that capability too.”

Shadley says that he thinks it is important for the Coroner’s Office to be completely independent of police agencies.

For his part, Nolting was unperturbed by the announcement. He said people are free to support whoever they want.

“That is the great thing about America, people can endorse and support whoever they want,” Nolting said. “In May, it was clear from the voters in Barhtolomew County that they supported and endorsed me over my then-opponent.”

“I am committed to running my campaign the exact same way I plan on running the Bartholomew County coroner’s office, and that is in a professional, dignified and positive manner.”

Ron Shadley’s Facebook post