Democrats fill vacancies for judge, prosecutor, county council on November ballot with caucus

344

Switzerland County Democrats held a caucus for precinct committeepersons last Wednesday night in order to vacancies on their slate for the upcoming November election.

There were 11 precincts represented at the caucus on Wednesday. Each precinct gets a vote that is cast by its precinct committeeperson. If the precinct committeeperson is not available to vote, then that precinct’s vice precinct committeeperson votes instead.

There are 12 precincts in Switzerland County, but at Wednesday’s caucus precinct committeeperson Joan Armstrong of Posey II was unable to attend due to attending a funeral; and her vice precinct committeeperson, husband Jack Armstrong, was also at the funeral, so only 11 votes were cast.

At the meeting three vice precinct committeepersons voted: Alicia Fritter voted for Zach Brogan in York I; Gretchen Knox voted for Charlie Knox in Jefferson I; and Glen Bovard voted for Carla Van Norstran in Pleasant I.

Precinct committeepersons voting at the caucus included: Donnie Covington from Cotton I; Earl Bowling from Cotton II; George Adams from Craig I; Joe Spiller from Craig II; Hilbert Scudder from Jefferson II; David McFadden from Jefferson III; Jim Wingate from Pleasant II; and Craig Bond from Posey I.

Those casting ballots voted on three positions: Judge, Prosecutor, and County Council At Large.

– Greg Coy was selected by the committee members to run for the newly created position of Judge of Switzerland County.

Currently, Switzerland County is covered by two judges: Judge Ted Todd is the Circuit Court Judge; and Judge John Mitchell is the Superior Court Judge.

This summer the Indiana Legislature created a new circuit district exclusively for Switzerland County, so beginning on January 1st, there will only be one judge.

At Wednesday’s caucus, Democrats had two candidates for the judge’s position; and after the vote was taken, Greg Coy defeated Lisa Rosenberger by a 10-1 margin.

The Switzerland County Republican party did not hold a caucus to field a candidate for Judge of Switzerland County, so Greg Coy will begin a six year term on January 1st.

– Monica Hensley was the only candidate for the office of County Prosecutor, which was also created by the Indiana Legislature this spring.

Although she was the only candidate, the legislation said that each political party should hold a caucus to nominate a candidate to run in November, so Wednesday’s caucus filled that requirement.

She has been serving as the deputy prosecutor for Chad Lewis, who currently serves as the prosecuting attorney for both Switzerland and Jefferson counties. After January 1st, he will only serve Jefferson County.

Monica Hensley will also hold a special place in this year’s General Election, as she will be the only prosecutor in the entire state who is on the election ballot. State law says that all prosecutors in Indiana are elected in the same year; so she will begin her new term on January 1st; but will serve a two-year term and then stand for election to a four year term in 2010.

The Switzerland County Republican party did not hold a caucus to field a candidate for prosecutor.

– In the closest race of the caucus, Steve Lyons defeated Ron Wiesmann in the race to be the third Democratic candidate for County Council At Large by a 6-5 vote.

Each party is allowed to field three candidates for the three Council At Large positions on the County Council. In the May primary, there were only two Democratic candidates: Steve Crabtree and Darrell Hansel, so the party was eligible to field a third candidate, if one came forward.

The Democrats had two candidates: former County Commissioner Ron Wiesmann and Steve Lyons, who is a former County Commissioner when he lived in Jefferson County.

Steve Lyons will now join Steve Crabtree and Darrell Hansel on the ballot; along with Republican candidate John Keeton.

The top three vote getters of the four candidates will begin four year terms on January 1st.

*

Officially, the general election season for the two political parties ends at noon today (Thursday), which is the deadline for a political party to hold a caucus and nominate candidates to fill vacancies. This is, however, not the end of the political season.

County Clerk Ginger Peters said that anyone wishing to be an independent candidate on the November General Election ballot has until noon on Tuesday, July 15th to file in her office. Requirements to run as an independent candidate show that a person must create a petition for candidacy, and that petition must include at least 51 signatures to be accepted. Ginger Peters said that she suggests that an independent candidate get more than the required 51 signatures, in case one or more of the signatures is not accepted as valid.

The Switzerland County School Board will also elect four members in this November’s General Election.

Seats in the town of Vevay; Pleasant Township; Cotton Township; and York Township are up for election, and Ginger Peters said that school board petitions can be accepted by her office beginning on Wednesday, July 23rd; and the deadline to file is at noon on Friday, August 22nd.

Also: applications for people who wish to vote by absentee ballot for the General Election may be filled out beginning on Wednesday, August 6th.

Anyone having any questions should contact the Switzerland County Clerk’s office at 427-3175.