With voting already underway in the Switzerland County Courthouse and the traveling voting centers primed to begin their journey next week, suddenly the November 6th general election has arrived.
Here in Switzerland County, county offices take center stage; as candidates are now busy meeting voters and getting their message out.
Here’s a rundown of this year’s races:
• In the race for Switzerland County Clerk of the Circuit Court, incumbent Republican Gayle Sullivan is being challenged by Democrat Erin Jackson.
• There will be a new County Auditor in Switzerland County, as Republican Carolyn J. Green and Democrat Trenton R. Ricketts are competing to replace retiring auditor Gayle Rayles.
• There will also be a new County Sheriff, as Nathan Hughes has chosen not to seek another term. Republican Brian Morton and Democrat Cory J. Hankins are running to fill that position.
• All of Switzerland County will vote for the County Commissioner race in District 3, where incumbent Democrat Mark Lohide is running against Republican James ‘Jamie’ Peters.
• In an uncontested race, Democrat Stacey Mathews is running for County Assessor, replacing the retiring Joan Armstrong.
• Current Switzerland County Prosecuting Attorney, Democrat Monica L. Hensley, is unopposed for re-election.
• There are also four seats on the Switzerland County Council up for election. Only those voters living in those districts will vote for that district’s candidate.
— In District One, which represents Jefferson I and Jefferson II, Republican incumbent Elizabeth ‘Itsy’ Jones is facing Democrat Dana Griffin.
— In District Two, which represents Jefferson III, Posey I, and York, incumbent Republican Mike Bear is being challenged by Democrat Steve Lyons,
— In District Three, which represents Craig I, Craig II, Pleasant I, and Pleasant II, Republican Lance M. Collier is unopposed to replace Glenn Scott, who chose not to seek re-election.
— In District Four, which represents Cotton I, Cotton II, and Posey II, Republican Todd A. Chase is running against Democrat Jeff Darling to replace John Gary Welch, who chose not to seek re-election.
• All of the Township Trustees from each of the six townships in Switzerland County Council are up for election. Only those voters living in those townships will vote for that township’s candidate.
— In Cotton Township, Democrat incumbent Barbara Bowling is being challenged by Republican Kelly Purvis.
— In Craig Township, Republican Neil J. Washnock is running against Democrat Jack Mathews.
— In Jefferson Township, Democrat incumbent Wade Hughes is being challenged by Republican Helen Peelman.
— In Pleasant Township, Democrat incumbent Jim Wingate is facing off with Republican Shannon Phipps.
— In Posey Township, Republican incumbent Joey Rider is unopposed for re-election.
— In York Township, Republican incumbent Kenneth Byars is running against Democrat Vicky Hinman.
• Each of the Townships also has a three member Advisory Board to assist the Township Trustee. The top three vote getters in the election earn those spots; and only those voters living in those townships will vote for that township’s candidates.
— In Cotton Township, candidates are Republican Rita Works and Democrat Brenda Shaw.
— In Craig Township, candidates are Republican Roberta Von Bargen and Democrats Linda Andrew and Lynda Spiller.
— In Jefferson Township, candidates are Republicans Deborah ‘Debbie’ Hickman, Alan Konkle, and Gayle A. Rayles; and Democrats Don Stout and Carol Ann Sublett,
— In Pleasant Township, candidates are Republican Jill Hutcherson; and Democrats Mark F. Jones and Lulu Belle Thomas.
— In Posey Township, candidates are Republican Rita Works and Democrat Brenda Shaw.
— In York Township, candidates are Republicans Scott Gregory and Shannon M. Jackson; and Democrats Michael R. Beatty and Larry G. Turner.
• The Switzerland County School Board will also elect three of its seven members to four year terms. Although board members represent specific districts, all seats are voted on county wide.
— In Craig Township, incumbent Greg Bosaw is unopposed for re-election.
— In Jefferson Township, Adam Cole is running against James Martin to replace Susan Jill Cord, who chose not to seek re-election.
— In Posey Township, incumbent Joe ‘Joey’ Bennett is unopposed for re-election.
• In the race for the Indiana House of Representatives seat representing District 67, incumbent Republican Randy Frye is facing Democrat Cordelle Feuston.
• Switzerland County voters will be electing a new State Senator from District 45. Republican Chris Garton is running against Democrat John Perkins and Libertarian Charles Johnson to replace retiring State Senator Jim Smith.
• In the Indiana Secretary of State race, Republican incumbent Connie Lawson is facing Democrat Jim Harper and Libertarian Mark W. Rutherford.
• For Auditor of State, incumbent Republican Tera Klutz, Democrat Joselyn Whitticker, and Libertarian John Schick are competing for the office.
• The Treasurer of Indiana, Republican incumbent Kelly Mitchell is facing Democratic challenger John C. Aguilera.
• In the race for one of Indiana’s two seats in the U.S. Senate, Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly is facing Republican challenger Mike Braun and Libertarian candidate Lucy M. Brenton in a race that has garnered national attention.
• Indiana will have a new Congressman for the 6th Congressional district, as Republican Greg Pence, Democrat Jeannie Lee Lake, and Libertarian Tom Ferkinhoff all vie to replace Luke Messer.
• Also on this year’s general election ballot is a statewide public question, “Shall Article 10, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended to require the General Assembly to adopt balanced budgets for state government that do not exceed estimated revenues unless a supermajority of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to suspend the requirement?”
• Voters are also being asked if Justice Geoffrey G. Slaughter should retain his seat on the Indiana Supreme Court; and if Judge Robert R. ‘Bob’ Altice, Jr., should retain his seat on the Court of Appeals of Indiana’s Second District.