Final pitch

GREENFIELD — Approximately 150 residents cast early ballots at the Hancock County Public Library in Greenfield on Thursday, and Martha Vail tried to stop every one.

She kindly asked if she could introduce herself and told voters what she stands for.

“I’m not a politician. I’m a Christian,” Vail said as she introduced herself to residents in an effort to gain their support in the final days leading up to Tuesday’s primary election.

Those eleventh-hour pitches can be heard across the county. Republican candidates for county council, coroner and county commissioner plan to spend the weekend reaching out to voters to spread their campaign messages and goals before Hoosiers take to the polls Tuesday.

Local primary races for coroner, county council at-large and commissioner are contested as Republicans seek their party’s nomination for the November election.

Meanwhile, candidates for federal office, including those seeking their party’s nomination for president, are making last-minute campaign stops as well. Congressman Marlin Stutzman, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the state’s Senate seat, is planning to conduct a rally at the courthouse Saturday afternoon beginning at noon.

Vail said she spent several days going door to door to introduce herself to county residents but decided she’d reach more potential voters if she stationed herself Thursday at the library — an early voting site.

By Thursday afternoon, other candidates — Ed Moore and George Langston — had joined her.

Moore said he’s spent much of the past few weeks, except for Sundays, which he reserves for church and time with family, campaigning for office.

By Thursday, he guessed most residents had already made up their minds, but he hoped to at least meet more of the people he would represent if elected.

Going into Tuesday, Moore is feeling optimistic, he said. He’s one of 11 candidates hoping to receive the nod to appear on the November ballot against Democrats Rita Johnson and independent Zachary LaFavers.

“I’ve turned it over to my maker,” Moore said. “I feel like I’ve done all I can.”

In the primary, Vail and Moore face incumbents Kent Fisk and Debbie Bledsoe and Dave Roberts, Steve Craney, Scott Wooldridge, Mark Lozier, Bob McDaniel, John Priore and George Langston.

The three candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election.

Langston said it’s a lot of work running for local office, especially in the days just before the election, but he’s enjoyed meeting residents.

“It’s exhausting,” he said. “When you get done at the end of the day, you’re not really done. There’s emails and Facebook to check on.”

Many voters have been kind and receptive to his message and campaign, he said.

The county coroner race pits current chief deputy coroner Rudy Nylund against Dan Devoy, Joe Fortner and David Stillinger. No democrats have filed to run for the position yet.

Incumbent Brad Armstrong faces Matt Holland for the District 3 commissioner seat, while Randy Harrison, Randy Sorrell and John Jessup seek the Republican nomination for the District 1 commissioner seat, currently held by Tom Stevens.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Sorrell spent most of the afternoon knocking on doors. For the most part, all of his signs were out by the start of the week. His focus was meeting residents. If nobody was home, he left a door hanger detailing his campaign.

His hope is people will recognize his name when they head to the polls Tuesday. Many already do, he said.

“It’s a strange feeling when you’re meeting someone for the first time, and they already know you. They know your name,” he said.

Early voting continues today and Monday. Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 6 p.m.

Local candidates on the ballot

Residents who pull a Republican ballot Tuesday will have plenty of choices for federal, state and local offices. Here are the names you’ll see:


-Jeb Bush*

-Ben Carson*

-Chris Christie*

-Ted Cruz

-Carly Fiorina*

-John R. Kasich

-Rand Paul*

-Marco Rubio*

-Donald J. Trump

United States senator

-Marlin Stutzman

-Todd Young


-Michael Pence

United States representative – District 6

-Charles Johnson Jr.

-Luke Messer

-Jeff Smith

State senator – District 28

-Michael Crider

State representative — District 53

-Robert Cherry

County treasurer

-Janice Silvey

County coroner

-Dan Devoy

-Joe Fortner

-Rudy Nylund

-David Stillinger

Hancock County commissioner – District 3

-Brad Armstrong

-Matt Holland

Hancock County commissioner – District 1

-Randy Harrison

-John Jessup

-Randy Sorrell

Hancock County Council

-Debbie Bledsoe

-Steve Craney

-Kent Fisk

-George Langston

-Mark Lozier

-Bob McDaniel

-Edgar Moore Jr.

-John Priore

-David Roberts

-Martha Vail

-Joseph Scott Wooldridge

* Name will appear on ballot, but candidate’s campaign has been suspended

Who's on the Democratic ballot?

Residents who pull a Republican ballot Tuesday will have choices for federal and state offices, while races for local office remain uncontested. Here are the names you’ll see:


-Hillary Clinton

-Bernie Sanders

United States senator

-Baron Hill


-John Gregg

United States representative – District 6

-Danny Basham

-George Thomas Holland

-Bruce W. Peavler

-Ralph Spelbring

-Barry Welsh

State senator – District 28

-Ken Kern

State representative – District 53

-Nancy Tibbett

County council at-large

-Rita Johnson

-Randy Jones

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