2022 Conservative Candidates

Fighting to Keep St. Joe Red

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Candidate for County Clerk

Amy Rolfes

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Amy graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor and Master of Arts degree in Education.

Amy has been a small business owner of Amy and Company, a specialty foods company specializing in English Crème Scones, ‘Amy’s Chunky Chutney’ and catering. Her business experience led to her work at the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development, as an Education and Certification Specialist for small business entrepreneurs. In her role, she provided training to a diverse population through a rigorous statewide business certification process.


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Candidate for county council

Amy Drake

Up until a few years ago, I can't say I knew the views of my local St. Joseph County commissioner or my county councilman. I barely even knew their names. Typically, before I would go cast my ballot, I would spend a few minutes doing some general research on the candidates —  but that, of course, provided a very limited picture. I didn't pay attention much to local news and certainly didn't know all the big issues facing our county. My community involvement was more neighborhood level, church-related or tied to my children's school or extracurricular activities.

All of this is ironic, of course. I used to work in government, as a speechwriter for the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.


Candidate for county council

Joe Thomas

My name is Joe Thomas and I have lived in the Michiana area my entire life. It was such a great experience growing up here, my wife and I decided to raise our 4 children here.  We have owned and operated a small business for over 30 years.

We have enjoyed raising our family in St. Joe County and have a large extended family here also.

I am here to listen to everyone in our community and would like to make it a better place to live.


Candidate for County Assessor

Mike Castellon

Michael Castellon was born and raised in Northern Indiana and grew up in the family business Parkway Lanes owned by his grandfather, Winford Baize.  Throughout High School he worked closely with his grandfather until the summer of 1990.  There, he learned many valuable skills and important character qualities that continue to contribute to his success today.

At 20, Michael Castellon did what so many others from Indiana have done; he joined the United States Navy Seabees. Entering the Navy to serve his country he attended boot camp at Naval Recruit Command San Diego, California.  In his 20 years of service his duty stations included Gulfport Mississippi, Naval Air Station Key West, Naval Support Unit State Department and Sheppard Air for base.  Having completed numerous deployments to the far east, middle east, South America, Africa and Europe.  His career is highlighted with deployments to U.S Embassies around the world and military training instructor duty for the Community College of the Air Force. After 20 years of Honorable active-duty service, he retired and returned to his hometown.

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Candidate for County Council

Dan Schaetzle

Growing up in rural Marshall County, I learned the value of faith, family, and education. After graduating high school in 1982, I attended Bethel College for two years but was then faced with the reality that my family could no longer afford my education. Undeterred, I worked in a wire factory, saving enough money to return to school. I then graduated from I.U.S.B. and studied German at Die Freie Universitaet in Berlin, Germany. Coming home from Europe, I decided not to attend graduate school but to work for a while and save money. My grandfather, who was a paratrooper in World War II and one of my heroes, suggested that I follow in his footsteps and drive eighteen wheelers for a while. And so I did. Two and a half years later I had paid off my undergrad loans and saved enough money to pay for most of graduate school.

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Candidate for County Sheriff

Kevin McGowan

There are plenty of ways for everyone to get involved with the county party. Whether you want to become a member, volunteer for events, or run for local office, we are always gracious of anyone who is willing to offer their time and efforts towards helping our party thrive.

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Candidate for County Commissioner

Carl Baxmeyer

Carl Baxmeyer has held several positions during his career, each providing learning and growing opportunities for him as an individual. Carl believes that his experience will bring common sense values to the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners.

Born and raised in New York, Carl graduated from Lynbrook High School in 1971. He graduated with honors from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, earning a bachelor’s degree in regional planning and environmental science with a minor in political science. Carl then graduated from Colorado State University, earning a master’s degree in planning and natural resource management while doing graduate work for the U.S. Forest Service.

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Jason Kring

Candidate for County Council District E

My name is Jason Kring and I am your Republican nominee for County Council District E. I was born and raised in South Bend, attending Washington High School. After high school, I started my career as a tow truck driver in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In 2011, I moved back to South Bend to assist my elderly parents, and continue my career of making the roads a safer place. Keeping the community I love safe is a passion of mine, both in my career and personal life. I serve on the executive board of the Michiana Crime Stoppers and was awarded the Fraternal Order of Police Lifetime Membership for my close work with law enforcement.  After 32 years of towing, I decided to hang up the keys and now work at the University of Notre Dame as custodial staff. I am looking forward to continuing my service to St. Joseph County as your next county councilman from district E. 


Candidate for County Auditor

Desmont Upchurch

Born in Durham NC, I was the youngest of three. I learned the important of family and responsibility by watching my older sister and brother. It was their responsibility to watch me while my mother worked.
My father worked as a postal worker and I learned the value of get up every day no matter rain or shine and getting to work. After graduating high school in 1995 I began my search of what life had to offer for
me. After six years of trying to figure things out I decided that the U.S. Army would be where I would start my career. I served 20 years in the United States Army from 2001-2021. While in the Army, I devoted most of my career to traveling throughout the Army to observe training and interact with soldiers and their families to enhance personnel management and recruiting efforts. After a highly decorated 20-year career in the
US Army, I retired from active duty and transitioned to a civilian career in which his skills, experience and education intertwine to make me a dominant asset to both veterans and civilians in my local community.
I currently sit on a variety of councils and boards that make decisions affecting the long-term restructuring of the local community such as the Vice President of NAACP South Bend Branch, Executive
Board of 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend, and Current Health and Safety Citizen Committee member. I am U.S. Army trained to take responsibilities also to protect and serve the American people
through business and community engagement.


County Council District H

Mark Voelker

“I am proud of the community that we live in and how it has positively influenced our family. I feel that it is time for me to give back and help ensure that you, and the next family that moves into the county, have the same experience that Kate and I have had.”

Paid for by Hoosier Conservative Voices