VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind (WEHT) – And then there were two. A day after Major Jason Ashworth became the first candidate to file in the Democratic primary, current Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s lieutenant and former Chief Deputy Noah Robinson officially joined Ashworth in a primary fight for the Vanderburgh County Sheriff race.
Robinson joined supporters at the Civic Center in downtown Evansville to formally enter the race for sheriff. Robinson says the sheriff’s office is on the right track but should start to embrace change. Robinson says the office needs a minor “course correction,” including embracing mandatory body camera usage and bringing in a third party, such as the Indiana State Police, in the event of a deputy-involved shooting.
While Ashworth and Robinson agree on bringing in a third party, Robinson did criticize Ashworth’s platform to “end all arrests for simple marijuana possession.” Robinson says the Sheriff’s Office instituted a similar policy two years ago and didn’t make a single arrest solely for simple marijuana possession in all of 2021.
Major Ashworth, who oversees the department’s operations division, denies such a policy exists- saying an official policy and deputy discretion are two different things.
Though the May 3 primary is still months away, local lawmakers are picking sides. On Wednesday, Ashworth touted the support of former sheriffs Brad Ellsworth and Eric Williams, along with City Councilman Zac Heronemus. On Thursday, Robinson referenced the support of Knight Township Trustee Kathryn Martin, City Councilwoman Kaitlin Moore Morley and his campaign manager and City Councilman Ben Trockman.
However, fellow Councilman Alex Burton says he’s going to wait and see how the primary plays out before making an endorsement. Burton says he’s talked with both Ashworth and Robinson, adding he plans to support whoever wins the primary.