Jeffersonville widow running for late husband's city council seat against experienced opponent
A Jeffersonville widow hopes to honor her late husband by filling his seat on the city council, but she's facing an experienced opponent.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- When Josh Rodriquez died from complications of a heart attack last month, his family started to think of ways to honor the 42-year-old Jeffersonville City Councilman’s memory.
"We see Josh as the dad and the father of our house and maybe not as the person out in the community that was touching so many people in a positive way,” said Rodriquez’s wife, Meredith Clipp Rodriquez.
The family, looking for ways to keep Rodriquez’s memory alive, came up with an idea.
"I threw my name in the hat to try to see about that city council seat that he worked so hard for,” Clipp Rodriquez said.
Despite a lack of political experience, Clipp Rodriquez says community members encouraged her to run.
"They were so on board and so excited and just thought, this is it ... we have found the way to continue the momentum that's been going,” she said.
Clipp Rodriquez wants to use that momentum to finish the work her husband started.
"To prove that what Josh did was the right thing, to keep the legacy continuing, to do what's right for the community, to do what's right for the city of Jeff and to do what's right for the people that originally voted for him,” she said.
She’s facing an experienced opponent. Ron Ellis, a familiar face in local government, is challenging her for the open seat.
"With my experience, who better for the job?" Ellis said.
Ellis held a city council seat for eight years and continues to serve on several boards and committees in the area.
"I'm always involved in something in the community,” he said.
He believes his experience and service to the city is what sets him apart.
"I'm homegrown,” Ellis said. “This is the city that I was born and raised in. I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and I want to help make the future great for them."
The Clark County Democrats will caucus on Sunday, April 9. Party representatives will vote on the open at-large city council seat as well as appoint a new party chair.
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