PENDLETON — Madison County Republican Chairman Russ Willis has had his hands full in the last few months.
As the head of the GOP, it is his job, among other things, to oversee the replacements of vacated town council seats held by Republicans. It has been that aspect of his job that has kept him busy with vacancies in Ingalls, Markleville and Pendleton.
The Markleville and Pendleton replacements are for longtime council members. Sally Gustin, who died in November, served more than 30 years on Markleville's Town Council. Don Henderson served 13 years on Pendleton's council, including 12 as president. Jack Stout was a long-serving member of the Ingalls Town Council before a new job forced him to resign.
Their replacements have big shoes to fill. Chad Wolfe, who will be taking over for Henderson, said he plans on helping Pendleton stay on its current course.
"Obviously, I'm not coming in with a big, course-altering agenda," Wolfe said. "I want to get my bearings and then go from there."
Because Pendleton is composed of several districts, Wolfe was voted in by Willis and other GOP members. Willis said Wolfe was the only one who applied for the position. Despite only one application, Willis said Wolfe is very qualified for the position.
"He has a good business background, which helps," Willis said. "He will have a good idea as far as numbers are concerned."
Wolfe runs Wolfe Diversified and says having to make big business decisions every day will help him with making decisions while on the town council. He is also currently serving on the town's planning commission, so he has an idea of how the town works.
He said as a father of a young family he is hoping to bring a perspective to the council that might have been missing over the last few years. He said there are a lot of young families living in Pendleton, and he wants to make sure their interests are heard as well.