GREENFIELD — Ten local races in May’s election primary will be contested, the most local officials say they’ve seen in years.

Monday solidified the names residents will see on their ballots when they head to the polls May 8. Thirteen county offices will be voted on in 2018, plus a number of state, town and township offices.

Four of those races — sheriff, circuit court judge, prosecutor and clerk — have three or more Republican candidates seeking office. No Democrats have filed to run in the primary, which is not unusual in Hancock County.

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Hancock County GOP chair Janice Silvey, who’s been involved in local politics for more than 30 years, said she can’t remember a time so many races were contested, and she’s happy to see so many party members interested in becoming involved in local politics.

Every four years, party leaders expect to see multiple Republicans hoping to become the next sheriff or prosecutor, sometimes even judge.

But three candidates for clerk as well as contested races for auditor, assessor and recorder is a bit unusual, she said.

Local Democratic party chair Randy Johnson said in an email to the Daily Reporter the party “is saddened not having county office candidates slated in the 2018 primary elections” but is actively seeking candidates to run against Republicans in the fall.

“In local politics, I remain hopeful that the best people will step up to seek office, and I will continue to keep an open mind and an open phone line for them to get assistance in running for county office,” Johnson wrote.

The county’s Young Republicans organization is hosting a series of events for residents to meet the candidates who will be on the ballot in May.

Already, the organization has hosted forums for the District 6 U.S. House of Representatives race and the Hancock County sheriff race.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet the three men seeking the Republican nomination for prosecutor at an event next week.

The forum is planned for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the courthouse annex, 111 American Legion Place.

Holly Gillham, president of the organization, said she plans to host events in March and April for some of the other contested races, but the organization is still in the early planning stages for those events.

The Daily Reporter, in partnership with Leadership Hancock County and the Hancock County Public Library, will host debates in April for some of the election season’s most hotly contested races.

In the running

More than 28 local Republicans have filed to run in May’s primary election. No Democrats have filed. * Denotes incumbent

Hancock Circuit judge

Judges act as the chief decision-maker in the court over which they preside, settling criminal, civil and family cases. The Hancock Circuit Court Judge is elected to a six-year term.

Candidates:

•DJ Davis (R)

•Scott Sirk (R)

•Scott Wooldridge (R)

Hancock County prosecutor

The prosecutor is elected to a four-year term and is tasked with charging and litigating all local criminal cases.

Candidates:

•Grey Chandler (R)

•Brent Eaton (R) *

•Bob Elsea (R)

Clerk of the circuit court

The clerk of the circuit court (commonly called the county clerk) serves a four-year term. The clerk is responsible for filing court orders and documents, serving as a member of the county election board and managing county elections and other duties.

Candidates:

•Lisa Eberhardt Lofgreen (R)

•Mark Lozier (R)

•Miriam Rolles (R)

Hancock County auditor

The county auditor serves a four-year term overseeing fiscal reporting for county government. The auditor’s office keeps minutes of various boards’ meetings, prepares financial statements and oversees the county budget process.

Candidates:

•Heather Bussell (R)

•Debra Carnes (R)

Hancock County recorder

The recorder serves as four-year term and is responsible for preserving public records including deeds, mortgages and bankruptcy notices, among others.

Candidates:

•Marcia Moore (R)

•Susie Albertson Morris (R)

Hancock County sheriff

The sheriff, who serves a four-year term, oversees the county’s largest law enforcement agency, with a $2.5 million budget and a staff of more than 40 deputies, 30 jail officers, 20 reserve deputies and 10 civilian employees.

Candidates:

•Wayne Addison (R)

•Brad Burkhart (R)

•Donnie Munden (R)

•Donnie Smith (R)

Hancock County surveyor

The surveyor serves a four-year term and oversees civil engineering work for the county including construction and maintenance of drains and ditches, highways, bridges and culverts.

Candidates:

Susan A Bodkin (R)

Hancock County assessor

The county assessor serves a four-year term and oversees property reassessment in the county and serves as the secretary of the property tax assessment board, which hears property tax assessments appeals.

Candidates:

•Katie Molinder (R)

•Cindy Wolski Roberts (R)

Hancock County commissioner, District 2

The county commissioner serves a four-year term and oversees everyday county business including enacting county ordinances. The District 2 commissioner represents residents living in Buck Creek, Center and Jackson townships.

Candidates:

•Kent Fisk (R)

•Marc Huber (R)*

Hancock County Council

Four seats — Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 — on the Hancock County Council are up for election in 2018. The county council holds the county’s purse strings, overseeing how county tax dollars are spent.

Candidates:

District 1

Jeannine Gray (R)*

District 2

•Mary Noe (R)

•Randy Sorrell (R) *

District 3

•Will Ronan (R)

•Jim Shelby (R) *

District 4

William Bolander (R) *

Other offices on the ballot this May include:

State Representative, District 53

•Bob Cherry (R) *

•Nancy Tibbett (D)

State Representative, District 57

•Luke Campbell (R)

•Sean Eberhart (R) *

State Representative, District 88

•Brian Bosma (R) *

•Poonam Gill (D)

Blue River Township trustee

Daniel Engleking (R)

Brandywine Township trustee

Sandra Matthias (R)

Brown Township trustee

Theresa Ebbert (R)

Buck Creek Township trustee

•Melvin Branson (R)

•Erin Harsin-Jordan (R)

Center Township trustee

Ron Horning (R)

Green Township trustee

Lisa Mohr (R)

Jackson Township trustee

Matthew Heath (R)

Sugar Creek Township trustee

•Robert E. Boyer (R)

•Jayson Combs (R)

Vernon Township trustee

Florence L. May (R)

Fortville Town Council, at-large

Robert J. Sterrett (R)

Fortville Town Council, District 2

Robert C. Holland (R) *

McCordsville Town Council, at-large (two seats)

•Tom Strayer (R) *

•Barry Wood (R) *

Dates to remember

Here are a few key dates to keep in mind this election season.

April 9: Voter registration for the May primary ends

April 10: Early voting kicks off

April 30: Absentee ballot application for a voter requesting an absentee ballot by mail are due

May 7: Early voting ends

May 8: Vote centers open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for primary election day

May 22: Voter registration for the General Election opens

June 30: Candidate forms (for Republicans and Democrats) to fill vacancies on the ballot due

July 2: Candidate forms for independent or minor party candidates due

Source: The Indiana Election Division

Register to vote

Residents have until April 9 to register to vote in the primary election on May 8.

You’re eligible to vote if:

  • You are both a U.S. citizen and a resident of Indiana
  • You will be at least 18 years of age on or before Nov. 6
  • You are not currently in prison after being convicted of a crime
  • You are registered to vote

You can register to vote at the Hancock County Election Office in the courthouse, 9 E. Main St., Greenfield, or online at indianavoters.com/. Bring your driver’s license or Indiana-issued photo ID.

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