Six seats available in county

GREENFIELD — Bob McDaniel of Charlottesville was the first in line this week to file to run in May’s primary election.

McDaniel, a retired Indianapolis firefighter, filed his paperwork minutes after the county election office opened on Wednesday, the first day candidates were able to officially declare their intent to run for public office.

McDaniel is seeking the Republican nomination for one of the three at-large county council seats up for election this year. He was one of nearly a dozen residents who this week turned in paperwork to run for local office.

While the presidential and gubernatorial races might be the most talked about this May and November, residents also have the chance to elect several county offices. Two commissioner seats, three county council seats and the county coroner and treasurer positions are up for grabs.

So far, only Republicans have filed to run for May’s primary. The Hancock County Democratic Party will meet Monday to discuss candidates for this year’s election. The party is seeking candidates for each office, newly selected party chairman Randy Johnson said.

The District 3 Republican race for commissioner was the only contested race as of Wednesday afternoon.

Incumbent Brad Armstrong, a New Palestine resident and business owner, is seeking a third term on the board. He’s challenged by Matt Holland of New Palestine, a Greenfield police officer. Both men filed Wednesday to run for the seat.

In 2008, Holland filed for the office but later withdrew his name. Then, the timing wasn’t right, he said. A colleague at the police department, Maj. Derek Towle, already was on the board of commissioners, Holland said, and thought the two working together in both capacities could be problematic.

The District 1 county commissioner seat also is expected to be contested. Commissioner Tom Stevens, a Republican, isn’t planning to run for re-election. On Wednesday, county council member Randy Sorrell, who holds one of the three at-large seats, filed for the Republican nomination for the seat. Council member John Jessup, a Republican, has announced plans to run in the district but had not yet filed Wednesday afternoon.

At the close of business Wednesday, two candidates had filed to run for the three county council seats: McDaniel and Mark Lozier, a Republican who lives in Greenfield.

Joe Fortner, a former Greenfield fire chief, filed to run for the Republican nomination for coroner. It’s the second time in four years Fortner has run for the position. In 2012, he unsuccessfully ran as an independent. No other coroner candidates filed Wednesday.

Current county Treasurer Janice Silvey, a Republican, filed for re-election this week.

The county’s election office expects to see higher voter turnout and interest this year due to the presidential and gubernatorial elections. Local parties hope to benefit from that interest by seeing more voters cast ballots in the local election.

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