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An Indiana man charged with murder advances in election for local township board

This undated photo provided by the Boone County Sheriff's Office shows Andrew Wilhoite. The Lebanon, Ind., man advanced to a primary election for three positions on a local township board after he was charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife.
Boone County Sheriff's Office via AP
This undated photo provided by the Boone County Sheriff's Office shows Andrew Wilhoite. The Lebanon, Ind., man advanced to a primary election for three positions on a local township board after he was charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife.

A man charged with murder is among the three candidates who advanced in a primary election for a township board in central Indiana.

Andrew Wilhoite, 40, won close to 22% of the total 276 votes this week in the Republican race for three positions on the Clinton Township Board, Boone County election results show.

That he would finish in the top three was a given, however — there were only three candidates.

Additionally, no candidates filed on the Democratic primary ticket, The Indianapolis Star reported. Clinton Township has an estimated population of 957, according to data from STATS Indiana. Indiana township boards consist of three members.

Wilhoite was arrested and charged with felony murder in late March in connection with the death of his wife, Elizabeth "Nikki" Wilhoite, according to Indiana State Police. Police said he is suspected of having struck his wife with a blunt object during a domestic dispute, knocking her unconscious. He then allegedly drove to a nearby creek where he dumped her body, according to police.

Wilhoite has been held at the Boone County Jail since being taken into custody, reported the Star. His next court hearing is set for May 27.

Unless they are convicted, people charged with felonies can legally run for local office, state elections officials told the Star.

"Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty," Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, told the newspaper. "If a candidate is ultimately convicted, then depending upon the timing of that conviction, the person can be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy."

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