County elections already contested

GREENFIELD — Candidates seeking their party’s nomination in the May primary election can’t file to run for election until Wednesday, but several hopefuls are already campaigning.

In 2016, residents will elect a new president, a governor and several county officeholders, including two commissioners, three council members, treasurer and coroner.

Janice Silvey, chairwoman of the local GOP, said she expects a Republican candidate to run for each county office.

Newly appointed Democratic chairman Randy Johnson said the party is still seeking candidates to run for office in 2016. So far, no Democrat has announced plans to seek local office.

If none seek office in 2016, it will be the second year in a row the local party has had no candidates on the ballot. In 2015, no Democrats ran in the general election; one filed to run for Greenfield City Council but withdrew from the race after he moved out of the city.

The county commissioner seats are expected to be the hot races this primary and in the November election, and candidates say the proposed new fairgrounds will be the biggest topic this campaign season, as the future of the estimated $30 million project is still up in the air.

Current county council members Randy Sorrell and John Jessup, both Republicans, have confirmed they will seek nomination for the District 1 commissioner seat currently held by Republican Tom Stevens, who has served two terms and isn’t seeking a third.

Sorrell, a McCordsville resident who has a law office in Fortville, was selected last January by a Republican caucus to serve the remaining two years of Marc Huber’s term after Huber was elected to the board of commissioners; Sorrell’s term ends in 2016. Jessup, a Shirley resident, is serving his second term on the county council.

The District 3 commissioner race pits incumbent Brad Armstrong against Matt Holland for the Republican nomination.

Holland, a Greenfield Police Department officer, is a lifelong Hancock County resident who currently serves on the Sugar Creek Township board. Armstrong, a New Palestine resident and business owner, is seeking a third term after being elected to the seat first in 2008; he currently serves as president of the board.

The three at-large county council seats are also up for grabs in 2016. Those seats are held by Republicans Debbie Bledsoe, Kent Fisk and Sorrell.

Because he is running for the District 1 commissioner race, Sorrell said, he isn’t looking to be elected to the council. Fisk, a Greenfield business owner who is serving his first term on the council, plans to run again. Bledsoe, who was first elected in 2012, has not confirmed whether she plans to seek re-election.

Greenfield resident Mark Lozier, a Republican, plans to toss his hat in the ring for an at-large council seat.

Lozier moved to the county about four years ago and works as a domestic mediator and in the insurance field handling claims.

So far, the primary races for treasurer and coroner look to be uncontested.

In addition to serving as the local GOP leader, Silvey is Hancock County’s treasurer. She said she is seeking a fourth and final term in the position before she retires from office.

No candidate has officially announced campaigns for coroner. Democrat Crystel Myers, who currently holds the office, told the Daily Reporter she is considering a re-election bid but is not ready to formally announce a campaign.

The primary election is May 3.

Whom do I elect in 2016?

In 2016, voters will elect a president, governor, a congressman and a number of state and local office holders including:

  • State senator District 88
  • State representative districts 53, 57, 88
  • County treasurer
  • County coroner
  • County commissioners districts 1 and 3
  • County council at-large (3 seats)

About this series

The Daily Reporter is giving readers a heads-up on 2016. From public safety, to government and education, our looking-ahead series tells you what’s coming up in Hancock County.

Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or