Brett Sanders to fill County Council vacancy

·1 min read

May 9—A political newcomer and son of a former city councilwoman is joining the Howard County Council.

Brett Sanders was chosen Monday night after six rounds of party caucus voting. He was sworn in Tuesday.

Sanders, an employee of Purdue University for the last decade working in the college's sponsored programs office, is a graduate of Indiana University Kokomo, graduating with a degree in finance. He is the son of Cindy Sanders, a former councilwoman of the Kokomo City Council.

Sanders said he has wanted to serve Howard County "in some capacity," calling the county he grew up in a "special place" and that he believes the skills learned through his work experience would translate well to the County Council. The seven-person board handles the county's finances and approves the yearly budget.

"Working for a university like Purdue, there's a certain kind of skill set to that, so I thought it might be hopefully something beneficial to the community," Sanders said.

He was one of seven people who filed candidacy for the caucus. Longtime county councilman Jim Papacek resigned last month due to health issues, leaving a vacancy on the County Council and, thus, the need for the caucus.

The caucus needed to go six rounds before Sanders was elected the victor, according to a press release from the Howard County Republican Party.

Sanders said he felt "wore out" but "thankful" for being elected after the six-round caucus.

Jennifer Jack, local Republican Party chairwoman, said in a statement that Sanders' youth (he's in his mid-30s) will "bring a fresh set of ideas and perspectives to county government."

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.