Two local races to be contested this fall

GREENFIELD — A few Republicans are going to have some competition on Nov. 8 — a rarity in Hancock County, where General Elections are usually uncontested.

Thursday was the deadline for independent candidates to file to run for office and for parties to select candidates to fill ballot vacancies for November’s general election.

Three local Democrats will have their names printed on the ballot; last year, no Democrats ran for local office. No Libertarians have filed to run in the fall election.

Greenfield residents Randy Jones and Rita Johnson, who is married to party chair Randy Johnson, are running against three Republicans for the county’s three at-large council seats. The duo filed to run last January.

Democrat Brandon Perry of McCordsville has also filed to run against Republican John Jessup for the District 1 county commissioner seat. Jessup beat Randy Sorrell in the May primary to earn the GOP nomination.

Perry, who did not return calls seeking comment, unsuccessfully ran against Vernon Township trustee Jim Nolte in 2014. In 2012, he lost to Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Brian Bosma for the District 88 state representative seat.

For months, Hancock County Democratic Party leaders have been working to revive interest in the party and slate candidates for this year’s election. Randy Johnson, who was selected as the party’s chair late last year, said he’s thrilled with the Democrats’ turnout.

He’s looking forward to a spirited campaign season and giving Hancock County residents more options for leadership.

“The Hancock County residents deserve choices this fall,” Johnson said. “We’re going to give (the Republicans) some competition.”

On Nov. 8, voters will elect candidates to local, state and federal offices. The races for president and governor should result in increased voter turnout, Johnson said, and his party is looking to capitalize on them.

Locally, residents will elect two county commissioners, a treasurer, coroner and three county council members. School board positions will also be on the ballot, but candidates have until Aug. 26 to file to run, said Robin Spille, Hancock County election administrator.

No independent candidates filed to run in November’s election. Zachary LaFavers told the Daily Reporter he planned to run in the council race as an independent, but he did not file paperwork with the election office, Spille said.

LaFavers, who could not be reached for comment, launched a Facebook page for his campaign but hasn’t posted anything on it since May.

Hancock County Libertarian Party chair Brandon Dreiman could not be reached for comment.

At a glance

Two local races will be contested in the general election Nov. 8.

Local candidates are:

Treasurer

Republican — Janice Silvey*

Coroner 

Republican — David Stillinger*

County Commissioner District 1

Republican — John Jessup

Democrat — Brandon Perry

County Commissioner District 3

Republican — Brad Armstrong*

County Council At-Large (three seats)

Republican — Debbie Bledsoe

Republican — Kent Fisk

Republican — Martha Vail 

Democrat — Randy Jones

Democrat — Rita Johnson 

*Indicates the candidate is running unopposed. 

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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.