Candidates beginning to file for May’s primary election

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Switzerland County and the rest of Indiana will hold primary elections this May in preparation for the general mid-term elections that will be held across the country in November; and in the first week that candidates have been allowed to file, there’s already quite a bit of activity here.

On the Republican ticket, there will be a contested race for County Sheriff, as two candidates have already filed. Current Chief Deputy Brian Morton has filed to run for County Sheriff; as has Jason ‘JJ’ Sullivan.

Other Republicans filing this week include:

• Gayle Sullivan has filed for reelection for Switzerland County Circuit Court Clerk.

• For County Council, District 1, Elizabeth ‘Itsy’ Jones has filed for reelection; and in District 2, Mike Bear has filed for reelection.

• Incumbent Kenneth Byers has filed for reelection as York Township Trustee.

• August Dauel and Lisa Fisher have both filed to be delegates to the Republican State Convention.

Democrats filing this week include:

• Incumbent Mark Lohide has filed for reelection as County Commissioner in District 3.

• Stacey Mathews has filed as a candidate for County Assessor.

• Vicky Hinman has filed as a candidate for York Township Trustee.

• Jack Mathews has filed as a candidate for Craig Township Trustee.

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County Clerk Gayle Sullivan said that candidates could file as of last Wednesday, January 10th; and can file until the deadline of noon on Friday, February 9th.

Candidates who file for office and then change their mind may withdrawal from the ballot until noon on Monday, February 12th.

For this year, there are many offices up for election, including:

– County Assessor, a post currently held by Joan Armstrong.

– County Auditor, a position currently held by Gayle Rayles.

– County Clerk of Courts, a position currently held by Gayle Sullivan.

– County Sheriff, a position currently held by Nathan Hughes.

– County Commissioner, District 3 (Cotton 1 and 2 precincts; Pleasant 1 and 2 precincts), a position currently held by Mark Lohide.

– County Council, District 1 (Jefferson 1 and 2 precincts), a position currently held by Elizabeth ‘Itsy’ Jones.

– County Council, District 2 (York precinct; Jefferson 3 precinct; and Posey 1 precinct), a position currently held by Mike Bear.

– County Council, District 3 (Craig 1 and 2 precincts; Pleasant 1 and 2 precincts), a position currently held by Glenn Scott.

– County Council, District 4 (Cotton 1 and 2 precincts; Posey 2 precinct), a position currently held by John Gary Welch.

– All Township Trustee positions: Cotton, Craig, Jefferson, Pleasant, Posey, and York townships are up for election. Those positions are currently held by: Barbara Bowling in Cotton; Stacey Mathews in Craig; Wade Hughes in Jefferson; Jim Wingate in Pleasant; Joey Rider in Posey; and Ken Byers in York.

– In addition to the Township Trustees, the members of the Township Advisory Boards will also be elected.

– Both the Republicans and the Democrats will elect delegates to their respective State Conventions.

– The Switzerland County Democrats will be electing Precinct Committeemen.

Sullivan also said that open registration for those wanting to register to vote is also underway. That can be done in a variety of ways and locations, including in the clerk’s office in the courthouse. Open registration ends on Monday, April 9th. Registration will then re-open after the primary election is completed for people who want to vote in the general election in November.

Sullivan said that, like past years, the traveling voting centers will be held around the county two weeks prior to the primary election on May 8th, but the official schedule has not yet been set. The clerk said that voters can cast their ballots in the courthouse beginning on Tuesday, April 10th.

For more information concerning this year’s election, contact the Switzerland County Clerk’s office at (812) 427-4415.