From the Muncie Star-Press:
One of the most bitter election contests in recent memory ended with incumbent Delaware County Assessor James Carmichael easily turning back a challenge from opponent Steve Fields.
Carmichael won more than 66 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Republican Party primary election to defeat Fields, who — along with a campaign contributor — targeted Carmichael with months of complaints and allegations the assessor had arranged an unethical or even illegal contract for assessing property.
Fields and associate Tom Terry — who not only contributed $2,000 to Fields’ campaign but sold Fields a vacant lot for $100 so Fields could meet a state requirement that county assessors own property — had frequented county commissioner meetings this year, trying to make their case that Carmichael had “hoodwinked” the officials into approving the contracts.
The battle came to a head on Sunday, when Carmichael’s newspaper ads — including a photo of a disheveled-looking Fields and a recounting of the challenger’s legal troubles, including a battery conviction — appeared in The Star Press. Officials and political insiders were still talking about the ads on election night.