On the Beat in Bluffton

Friday, March 21, 2014

N-B Flashback: County sending mail-in ballots this Saturday

Wells County residents can register to vote in the upcoming primaries through 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, Clerk Yvette Runkle said Thursday.

But if they want to mail their votes in, they need to contact her office before it closes at 4:30 p.m. today.

Runkle said her staff will send mail-based ballots to absentee voters Saturday.
Voters can call 824-6479 or request a ballot for mail at the Clerk’s office, located in Suite 201 in the Courthouse.

Learn more in the Friday, March 21, News-Banner.

The following races will be determined during the primary and general elections:
• County Commissioner District 1 - Incumbent Scott Mossburg is being challenged by Tamara Dunmoyer. 
• County Council District 4 - Incumbent Republican Phil Stoller will face Democrat Chuck King in the November general election.  (Stoller announced after the ballot printing that he will not seek re-election. The Wells County Republican Party will pick someone to run in his place)
Harrison Township - Four candidates, all Republicans, are running for the three spots on the township's advisory board. Jason Baker and Jeff Hewitt, two incumbents, have filed for re-election, and Diane Markley and Mick Jackson are also running for the board. The third incumbent on the board, Democrat Jack Wenger, has not filed for another term. Jefferson Township - Longtime trustee Richard McCoy is being challenged by Barry Gordon in the Republican primary. The three advisory board members - Tim Baker, Roy Meyer, and Dan Rupright, all Republicans - are also seeking re-election and are thus far unopposed. Lancaster Township - A race is set up in the fall: Republican Kenneth Isch against Democrat Jan Moser for the trustee's position. Wanda Lobsiger, the incumbent trustee, has opted not to seek another term. The three incumbent advisory board members - Rick Oatess, Neal Worden, and James Wolf, all Republicans - are also seeking re-election and are thus far unopposed. Liberty Township - Allen Gregg and Trenton Markley will face each other in the Republican primary in an effort to succeed Diane Rockwell as township trustee. Rockwell has opted not to seek re-election. Markley is a current member of the township's advisory board. Incumbent Scott Minniear and newcomer Melba Cole, both Republicans, are the only two candidates to file for the three advisory board slots.
Here are the county and township offices that will see some degree of change on Jan. 1, 2015, even without contested races:
County Council District 2 - Incumbent Karolyna Farling, a Republican, has decided not to seek another term. Steve Huggins, also a Republican, is the only candidate to file to succeed her. Superior Court - Andrew Antrim, a Republican, is the only candidate to file for Superior Court judge. Incumbent Judge Everett Goshorn has decided not to seek re-election. Prosecutor - Andrew Carnall, a Democrat, is the only candidate to file for prosecutor. Incumbent Republican Michael Lautzenheiser Sr. is not running for another term. Chester Township - Current advisory board member Steve Studebaker is running for trustee, and current trustee Gary Story is running for advisory board. Both are Republicans. Incumbent advisory board members Lynn Blevins and Stan Bales are running for re-election; both are Republicans.
Rockcreek Township - Current advisory board member John Legge did not file for re-election. There are now only three candidates running in Rockcreek Township, all incumbents: Trustee Phylian Keefer and board members Lindsay Burnau and Arlene Gordon.
Other information about the arrival of the filing deadline: 
On the federal level, Indiana does not elect a U.S. senator this year, but there are six major-party candidates running for U.S. representative from Indiana's 3rd District. Republican incumbent Marlin Stutzman has two challengers in the GOP primary, Mark William Baringer and James E. Mahoney III. Three Democrats are also running - Justin Kuhnle, Jim Redmond, and Tommy A. Schroeder. The four legislators who represent Wells County in the Indiana Statehouse have no opposition as they seek another term - State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, and State Reps. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City; Dan Leonard, R-Huntington; and Matt Lehman, R-Berne. Several incumbent county office holders appear poised to win another term - Sheriff Monte Fisher, Assessor Rick Smith, Auditor Beth Davis, Clerk Yvette Runkle District 1 County Council member Jim Oswalt, and District 3 County Council Todd Mahnensmith. All are Republicans.

There are some townships where the candidates that meet the filing deadline are all incumbents and all unopposed.
In Jackson Township, Republican Bruce Herr is running for trustee and Republicans Stan Morton and Bruce Leas plus Democrat Bill Banter are running for advisory board. In Nottingham Township, Democrat Mark Shaffer is running for trustee, and Republicans Mike Pursifull, Bob Halderman, and Robin Gentis are running for advisory board. In Union Township, Brian Imel is running for trustee, and John Walmsley, Kedric Bailey, and Robert Caley are running for advisory board; all are Republicans. Two seats on the Ossian Town Council are up for election this year, and incumbents Josh Barkley and Bill Miller, both Republicans, have filed to stay in office. 

Parties have until noon June 30 to slate candidates for the general election in November, filling vacancies that existed in the primary.

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