A man currently charged with the murder of his wife is one of three Republican candidates for a seat on the Clinton Township Board in Indiana.
Andrew Wilhoite, who was arrested and charged with killing his wife Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite in March, advanced in the local election after securing his candidacy in Indiana’s primaries on Tuesday while incarcerated at Boone County Jail.
He’s currently awaiting his next court hearing, scheduled for May 27.
RELATED: Indiana Mom Who Recently Finished Chemotherapy Is Found Dead in Creek, Husband Charged with Murder
According to the Indy Star, it’s legal in Indiana for people charged with a felony to run for local office but they are ineligible if convicted.
“Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty,” Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, told the newspaper. “If a candidate is ultimately convicted, then depending upon the timing of that conviction, the person can be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy.”
Andrew, 40, received 60 votes (just over 21 percent), while his competitors received 110 and 106 votes. State officials told Indy Star that the township board consists of three members; the Republican primary only drew the three candidates, and nobody filed on the Democratic primary ticket.
Nikki’s colleagues previously reported her missing when she didn’t show up for work. After checking for her at home and searching the area with bloodhounds for several hours, Indiana State Police (ISP) found her dead in a nearby creek.
“During the course of a domestic dispute, [then] 39-year-old Andrew N. Wilhoite, Elizabeth’s husband, had allegedly struck her in the head with a blunt object causing her to lose consciousness,” ISP said in a statement, adding: “He then placed her into a vehicle and drove to a nearby creek where he dumped her body.”
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
The wife and mother, who had just completed chemotherapy treatment for cancer, filed for separation from Andrew in March, WTHR reported.
According to the outlet, court documents showed that Andrew initially lied to detectives before admitting to dumping Nikki’s body over a bridge after striking her in the head with a flower pot. He said in his earlier account that they were fighting about his extra-marital affair.
Boone County Sheriff’s Office has been working with ISP on the case to avoid any conflict of interest, as Andrew’s mother serves as a county councilwoman, Sheriff Mike Nielsen said in a previous release.
PEOPLE has reached out to attorneys for Wilhoite, but did not immediately hear back.