A source who requested anonymity in the Warren County Democratic Party tells KNIA News recently appointed Warren County Auditor David Whipple has put Deputy Auditor Kim Sheets on 60-day administrative leave from the office, after the Warren County Democratic Party successfully submitted a petition to force a special election for the office. Whipple will likely have to run against Sheets to fill out the remainder of the term.

Whipple, a Republican, was appointed to the post in early June by the Warren County Board of Supervisors after the retirement of former auditor Democrat Traci Vanderlinden, who recommended Sheets take over the office. The board cited problems they had with the Auditor’s Office, in addition to wanting someone new to take over the office and liking Whipple’s background in training despite no election experience.

Whipple, in now deleted Facebook posts, shared several stories involving conspiracies around the 2020 election, QAnon, 9/11, and others. Warren County Democratic Party Chair Jim Culbert said in a statement while at the time he had not seen the posts, forcing a special election is not about partisanship, and in order to run elections you have to trust elections.

“This goes back to the Auditor working in a non-partisan professional manner. I haven’t seen the posts, but if you don’t believe in elections how can you be in charge of elections? If you don’t think that they were fair and honest, how is that going to inform how you do the job? We just don’t know this guy, he came out of nowhere.”

The Warren County Republican Party Central Committee has passed a unanimous resolution in support of the Warren County Board of Supervisors selection.

The special election will be to fill out the remainder of the term through 2024, with a new four-year term being up for election in November of 2024.

KNIA News has reached out to Sheets and Whipple for comment and has yet to hear back.