Primary Election set for May 6th in Switzerland County


Switzerland County will join the rest of Indiana in holding its primary election on Tuesday, May 6th. Although the number of contested primary races is down from previous years, there are still close races at the local, state, and national level that should make May 6th an interesting day here in the county.

Switzerland County Clerk Ginger Peters has announced that absentee ballot applications are now being accepted in her office; and that the deadline for her office to receive an absentee ballot application in the mail is this Monday, April 28th.

The office is also accepting applications for resident who wish to vote using the traveling board. If those applications are being mailed in, they must also be received by this Monday, April 28th, or they can be hand delivered to the clerk’s office by May 5th.

For those who want to cast a ballot a more traditional way, voting is underway in the clerk’s office. Registered voters may cast their ballots in advance of election day in the clerk’s office Monday through Wednesday and on Friday from 8 a.m. until noon; and then from 1-3:30 p.m. On Thursdays, voting is open from 8 a.m. until noon.

In an effort to allow as many people the opportunity to vote as possible, the clerk’s office will also be open for voting the next two Saturdays.

Voters may go to the clerk’s office this Saturday, April 26th, or on Saturday, May 3rd from 8 a.m. until noon.

The final day to vote in the clerk’s office will be on Monday, May 5th, and voting will close that day at noon.

Candidates appearing on this year’s primary ballot include:

– For Switzerland County Recorder, there will be a contested race in the Democratic primary, as Jill Judy and Darla McKay McAlister have both filed to run.

– The Democrats will also have a contested race for County Coroner, as Lewis Fritter will face off against Roger “Rocky” Hollingsworth.

– In the race for County Commissioner in District One, there will be a contested race on the Democratic ticket, with Danny Hehe running against Robert Martin.

Republican Brian Morton is unopposed in the primary.

– For the County Commissioner’s seat in District Two, Democrats H. Craig Bond and Earl W. Holmes will square off in the primary election.

– The county will elect three At-Large County Councilmen, and the only candidates in the primary are the three incumbents: Democrats Steve Crabtree and Darrell Hansel and Republican John Keeton.

– Democrat Stacey L. Penick is unopposed for County Treasurer; and there is no candidate on the Republican ticket.

– Republican Brian McAllister is unopposed for County Surveyor; and there is no candidate on the Democratic ticket.

– Filing for precinct committeeman on the Republican ticket are: John Andrew in Jefferson II: Russell Von Bargen in Craig II; Kirk Works in Jefferson I; and Deborah Stewart in York.

– Mike Jones filed for delegate to the State Convention on the Democratic ticket.


Just because there are empty slots on political tickets for the primary election doesn’t mean that primary winners will automatically be elected in the November general election.

Ginger Peters said that both the Democrats and the Republicans have until noon on Monday, June 30th to fill vacancies after the primary, so more contested races may appear as parties fill openings by the deadline.

There is also some confusion concerning the primary election for the office of Superior Court Judge – a post which will no longer exist as of January 1st.

The Indiana State Legislature passed a law establishing a new judicial circuit for Switzerland County, which means that the county will have its own judge and prosecuting attorney beginning January 1st, 2009.

The legislation, however, wasn’t passed until after the primary ballots were finalized, so voters in the primary election will see candidates on the ballot for the office of Superior Court Judge, but those votes will not count.

Both parties will hold caucuses after the primary election to nominate candidates for the offices of Switzerland County Judge and Switzerland County Prosecutor, and the victors of those caucuses will face each other on the November General Election ballot.

Again, votes for judge candidates in the primary election will not count, but the names will appear on the ballot.

This also marks the second primary election that will not see a school board election. The Switzerland County School Board changed its election policy in 2004, and moved its election to the November General Election rather than in the primary.

This November’s election will see four school board seats up for election. Seats in Pleasant Township, Cotton Township, York Township, and the Town of Vevay will be up for election.

Clerk Peters said that the first day that candidates may file petitions to run for the school board is Wednesday, July 23rd; and the deadline to file is noon on Friday, August 22nd.


There are also several interesting races at the state and national levels for Switzerland County voters to consider with less than two weeks to go until the primary election.

State Representative Bob Bischoff is unopposed for another term; but at the State House, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels is unopposed, but Democrats Jim Schellinger and Jill Long Thompson are facing off to see who gets a shot at unseating the Governor in November.

Nationally, the country will again be looking at the expected showdown in November for the Ninth Congressional District seat between Baron Hill and Mike Sodrel.

The two have traded the seat back and forth for the past six years, with Sodrel unseating Hill in 2004; and then Hill returning to Congress in 2006.

In the primary, Mike Sodrel is unopposed; while Baron Hill faces challenges from Gretchen Clearwater and Lendall B. Terry. Libertarian candidate David Eric Schansberg is also unopposed.

But perhaps the biggest race will come at the top of the ballot, where the eyes of the nation will be on Indiana and the race for the Democratic nomination for President between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

With Hillary Clinton’s win in Pennsylvania on Tuesday of this week, the race is tightening, with Barack Obama now leading the delegate count nationally by just over 135. That means Indiana will be an important state for the Democratic nominee – with either Hillary Clinton continuing to tally delegates or Barack Obama widening his delegate lead.

On the Republican side, Presidential candidate John McCain is unopposed, and already has enough delegates to secure the nomination.


Those county voters will again be voting at the same polling places for this year’s primary.

Voters living in Cotton I, Cotton II, and Jefferson III precincts will vote at the East Enterprise firehouse; voters in Craig I, Jefferson I, and Jefferson II precincts will vote at the 4-H Community Building; and voters in York precinct will vote at the Florence firehouse.

Also: voters in Craig II, Pleasant I, and Pleasant II precincts will vote at the Moorefield firehouse; voters in Posey I precinct will vote at Patriot Town Hall; and voters in Posey II precinct will vote at the Posey Township firehouse.

Anyone having any questions about this year’s primary election in Switzerland County should contact the Switzerland County Clerk’s office at 427-3175.