I’ve spent thirty years helping people solve their problems. My strong suit is that if I don’t know the answer, I know where to find the answer. I want to be the commissioner for the people in our county who don’t know or have someone to call to solve their problem. I want to be the commissioner that helps those people.” --Jeff Hatfield, Candidate for Vanderburgh County Commissioner, District 2.
As a Citizen
Jeff Hatfield was born in Evansville, Indiana in 1961 and lived within walking distance of Saint Benedict’s, Reitz Memorial High School, and University of Evansville, graduating from all three.
Being the son of State Senator Paul Hatfield, and mother, Betty, Jeff grew up in a political household. The family television provided another wide window into that arena. Though Jeff enjoyed Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or the Disney movie of the week, he sat riveted to the TV during the long hot summer of 1973 as Walter Cronkite led the country through the scandal of the Watergate hearings. Later, he would find himself fascinated by both John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy’s campaigns and subsequent assassinations, and the tempestuous unfolding of the civil rights movement. He was particularly drawn to the Kennedys—he admired their empathy, compassion and devotion to public service for the American people.
Inspired by how his social studies teacher, Leo Schultheis, brought civics, history and politics to life, Jeff learned at an early age how a civic-minded person could make a difference in his community.
At 23 years old, Jeff worked as a laborer on a concrete crew. With a young family to support, Jeff decided he would build his first spec home. With the support of his wife, Jerri, his brothers and parents, Jeff founded the custom homebuilding company Hatfield Brothers in 1984. Jeff worked long hard hours. He spent evenings making countless phone calls, meeting customers on holidays, and working seven days a week. As the residential home venture thrived, Jeff began to also devote his time and talents to the Southern Indiana Builders Association. He eventually became president in 1993. He also became the organization’s first recipient of the Leaders and Legends award in 2003.
In 1999, Jeff landed his first commercial project and Hatfield Brothers evolved into Core Contractors, Inc., a representation of the commitment to both commercial and residential projects. To this day, Jeff and Jerri, the heart and soul of Core Contractors, Inc. focus on commercial remodeling projects.
Throughout the evolution of his successful contracting business, Jeff has served Evansville and Vanderburgh County in a variety of ways that uniquely position him to be an effective and successful commissioner. He has served on the Vanderburgh County Area Plan Commission, Vanderburgh County Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Evansville Parks Foundation. He has served on the transition teams for two Evansville mayors and is a member of the Evansville Rotary Club.
Jeff and his wife, Jerri, regularly attend Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church, where Jeff is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the A-Men’s Club. He is an active member of All Saints Parish and a participant in CAJE: Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment. He has two sons, Jeffrey and James. Jeffrey is a deputy with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s office. Jeffrey and his wife, Allison, have two children. James is in the US Coast Guard Reserve and works in the real estate industry. He and his wife, Abril, have one very spoiled dog, Maslow.
In his off time, Jeff takes Jerri, his wife of 35 years out on dates, attends tea parties with his granddaughter, rides his lawnmower and sometimes even gets a quick nap in his recliner.
As a Commissioner
Jeff follows his heart and his head when it comes to politics.
The core values that he so admired in his historical political heroes of yesteryear fueled his desire to find a place in public service in which he could do the most good for his neighbors throughout Vanderburgh County. He decided it was time to run for county commissioner.
Jeff’s intent as commissioner is to build a firm foundation for both safe neighborhoods and economic growth in Vanderburgh County. His focus will be on maintaining and improving the infrastructure, making Vanderburgh County more attractive to future economic growth. He wants to grow jobs locally and make sure that those jobs provide a good living wage and opportunities for advancement.
Jeff supports the new jail expansion, but also believes it is equally important to invest our efforts in treating the underlying causes of crime—mental health and drug addiction. Through this dual approach, Jeff intends to advocate for much needed resources for our struggling population while keeping our neighborhoods secure.
Jeff’s main reason for running is perhaps a selfish one; he wants his children and grandchildren to make their homes in a safe and economically prosperous Vanderburgh County.
Together my wife, Jerri, and I built our business from the ground up. After three decades in business and several economic downturns, I know firsthand the impact on our businesses and families when politics get in the way of commonsense solutions. As your county commissioner, I will be laser-focused on economic development that improves our quality of life and bringing businesses to Vanderburgh County that value their employees.
It is imperative that public safety remain a priority. I will work with Sheriff Dave Wedding to ensure our streets are safe, our schools are protected, and our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to fight the growing drug epidemic. In order to keep us safe, we must expand our jail and provide needed resources for drug and mental health treatment services.
Too many of our roads have been neglected for too long. We must invest in our transportation infrastructure if we expect to be safe on the road, keep our cost of living down, and attract new business. Poor infrastructure results in safety hazards, costly vehicle repairs, and lost opportunity for our businesses. The State of Indiana recently passed a transportation bill that will provide us with more resources to fix our crumbling roads, we must take a business approach to spending these tax dollars efficiently.