by Caitlin Huston
— Cheers rang out at the Democratic watch party as former Police Chief Randy Rozzi, a Democrat, beat out his incumbent opponent George Franklin for the Cass County coroner’s position.
Rozzi said he had spent 21 years in law enforcement, which included seven years as a detective from 1994 to 2000 and the position of Logansport police chief from 2004 to 2009. He currently works as a case manager for Cass-Pulaski Community Corrections and is a life-long resident of Logansport. Franklin held the coroner’s position for four years.
Rozzi ran for Cass County sheriff in 2010 and lost to Republican Randy Pryor.
As the final results came in, Rozzi said he was thrilled to see his hard work pay off.
“I feel great,” he said. “I beat an incumbent and that’s hard to do.”
Rozzi said he was initially unsure about the possibility of a win, but believes that voters wanted a change.
“Residents wanted someone else, and fortunately I was that person,” he said.
He added that he believed his campaign work and his supporters, many of whom were gathered at Amelio’s & Ike’s for the watch party, helped secure the win.
Franklin had carefully tracked the election results throughout the watch party.
“I’m disappointed, but that’s life,” he said as the final tally was recorded.
Asked if he felt voters’ opinions about his brother, Mayor Ted Franklin, played a part in the votes he received, Franklin said he did not want to discuss reasons behind the loss.
“I’ve got some ideas, but I’m just going to keep them to myself,” he said.
Franklin said he would continue to serve as the city’s code enforcement officer. Otherwise, he said he was going to take time to re-evaluate his next step.
“I’m just going to step back and look to see,” he said.
But Franklin hinted that he may run for an elected position again.
“I’m certainly not going to close any doors,” Franklin said.
Tom Weatherwax, vice chair of the county Republican Party, said the loss of the coroner’s race and the Circuit Court judge’s position meant the party would have to work harder in coming years to protect against more losses.
“It usually leads to something else down the road,” Weatherwax said.
Though Rozzi is not yet certified as a medical legal death investigator, Rozzi has said he has experience after about six years as an evidence technician and crime scene investigator.
In an interview Tuesday night, Rozzi added that he was looking into the training process.
“The training is not a barrier,” Rozzi said. “I understand why I have to do it. It takes time to learn, and I’m going to learn.”
Once he takes office, Rozzi has said he will re-evaluate the number of deputy coroners and make sure everyone had proper training.
“I’m going to make sure they keep up with their education and required training,” Rozzi said.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.