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Voters get say with competitive races

April 30, 2008
Indiana primary voters will go to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots to determine who will face off this fall in the general election.

At the top of the ticket on the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York will face Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois for the right to face Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who has already secured the GOP nomination, for the presidency. This will be the first time since 1968 that Hoosier voters will play a key role in a presidential nomination.

At the state level, Jim Schellinger is opposed by Jill Long Thompson for the Democratic nomination to run against incumbent Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is unopposed in the Republican primary.

The Ninth District congressional race features Democratic incumbent Baron Hill, who is being challenged by John R. Bottorff, Gretchen Clearwater and Lendall B. Terry for the right to face Republican Mike Sodrel, who is unopposed in the primary, in the fall.

Sodrel, who has faced Hill three times in the general election, won in 2004, but lost in 2002 and 2006. All three races were close.

In the District 70 state representative race, Democrat incumbent Paul Robertson of Depauw faces no primary opposition, nor does Republican Tim Hunt.

In the District 72 state representative race, Democrat incumbent William C. Cochran will face Republican Edward D. (Ed) Clere in the fall.

In the District 73 state representative race, Democrat incumbent Dennie Oxley will face Republican Steve Davisson in the fall.

Previews by county

Crawford County

Crawford County voters will have several choices in this spring's primary election. The biggest races will be for the Democratic nominations for District 2 commissioner and county council, as well as three positions to the non-partisan school board.

In the District 2 commissioner's race, two-term incumbent Randy Gilmore will face with David Sillings in the Democratic primary. Gilmore, who has a Birdseye address in western Crawford County, defeated then-District 2 incumbent Sillings of English in 2000. Sillings has also served on the Crawford County Council and English Town Council.

The winner will take on Republican Wayne Carothers of English, who is unopposed in the GOP primary, in the fall. Carothers serves as the clerk-treasurer for the Town of English.

In the other commissioner's race, one-term District 3 incumbent James Schultz of English is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Currently, he faces no Republican opposition either, as no one filed in the GOP contest.

In the race for three at-large seats on the county council, three-term Democrat incumbent Jerry Brewer of Marengo, currently the group's president and a former county commissioner, is being challenged by William E. Breeding of Milltown, Douglas H. McLain of English and Ramona F. Garrett of English, with the top three vote-getters advancing to the general election.

Those three candidates will be joined by three-term Republican incumbent Daniel Crecelius of Milltown, who faces no primary opposition. Crecelius is currently the council's vice president.

In other county government races, Democrat incumbent Treasurer Edna Brown of Marengo, who is completing her first full term, is being challenged by newcomer Allison (Jan Parke) Barrow of English, who is a deputy in the Recorder's Office. No candidate filed in the GOP primary election.

One-term Republican incumbent Reginald (Reggie) Timberlake of Sulphur is unopposed for the surveyor's position. No Democrat is seeking that party's nomination.

Likewise, one-term Democratic incumbent Coroner Christopher A. Brown of Milltown is unopposed for his party's nomination. No Republican filed for the GOP nomination.

In the non-partisan race for three spots on the Crawford County Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, one-term incumbents Debbie Kaiser of Milltown and Tim Jellison of English face opposition from Lloyd B. Arnold Jr. of Leavenworth, Lee Holzbog of Taswell, Tim Newton of Marengo and Billy Joe Walker of Marengo.

The school board is non-political, and the top three vote-getters will take their positions this summer.

While the race is for three at-large seats, the candidates are listed by district, and voters may only select one candidate per district. Kaiser is the only District 1 candidate, while Newton and Walker are the District 2 candidates. Holzbog is the sole candidate from District 3, while Jellison and Arnold Jr. are the District 4 candidates.

Floyd County

Floyd County voters on both sides of the political aisle will have plenty of decisions to make Tuesday when they go into the voting booth.

Susan L. Orth and Michael J. McDaniel are competing for the Democratic nomination for judge of the Superior Court No. 1.

Democrat Glenn G. Hancock and Republican Chris Lane have no opposition in their primary races for judge of Superior Court No. 2.

Richard G. (Rich) Bolin, Maria Granger and Stan Robison will battle for the Democratic nomination for judge of Superior Court No. 3, while Republican Richard R. Fox has no challenger in the GOP primary.

Democrat Darlene S. McCoy and Republican Lois Naville Endris have no opposition in their parties' primaries for county recorder.

Neither Democrat Bette A. Buechler and Republican Linda L. Berger will face a challenger in their primaries for the treasurer's position.

Incumbent Greg Balmer will face Leslie E. Knable in the Democratic nomination for county coroner, while Republican John Patrick Click has no opposition.

Republican incumbent William B. (Bill) Gibson is unopposed for county surveyor.

Republican Dave Matthews has no GOP challenger in his bid for the District 2 county commissioner seat. Neither does Democrat incumbent Charles (Chuck) Freiberger.

Incumbent District 3 Commissioner Steve Bush is unopposed in the GOP primary, while Democrat Dennis O. Roudenbush also faces no opposition.

The following Democrats have announced their candidacy for the county council at-large seats: Donald Blevins, Jeff Fessel, Ted Heavrin, Tom Lenfert, Greg A. McCartin, Joe Schindler, incumbent Carol Shope, Brad C. Striegel and incumbent Randall T. (Randy) Stumler.

The following Republicans have announced their candidacy for the county council at-large seats: Rocky Cambron, William (Bill) Fender III, incumbent Dana Fendley, Harry T. Harbison, Tonye A. Rutherford and Larry M. Summers.

The top three vote-getters from each party will face off in the general election.

New Albany-Floyd County School Board at-large candidates are incumbent Patricia Badger-Byrd, Ronald O. Keller and Paul Love.

New Albany-Floyd County School Board District 3 candidates are Michael A. Dankovich and incumbent Neal Allen Smith.

New Albany-Floyd County School Board District 4 has only one candidate, incumbent Rebecca Gardenour.

Harrison County

Harrison County voters will see several contested races on their ballots next week when they go to the polls. The largest field is on the Democrat ticket, with nine candidates vying for three at-large county council seats and three Democrats seeking both the county commissioner District 1 and District 2 seats.

In the council race, incumbent Chris Timberlake, who is completing his first term in office, is joined on the ballot by Kyle Byrne, Joe Cox Jr., Richard Gerdon, Steve Haggard, Carol Johnson-Smith, Joy Kirchgessner, Robert (Bob) Morris and Todd Uhl. With the exception of Haggard, who is a former county commissioner, and Morris, who served as a school board member for North Harrison Community School Corp., the others have not held an elected position in the county.

The top three vote-getters will face Republicans Jim Heitkemper, a former county commissioner, and Marion Wallace, the county's Veterans Service Officer, in the General Election. (The Republican party has until noon on June 30 to appoint a third candidate.)

For county commissioner District 1, James Goldman, who currently holds that seat, is being challenged by fellow Democrats Ed Emily, who formerly held that seat, and newcomer Adam Uhl. The winner will face Republican Phil Smith, who is unopposed, in November.

J.R. Eckart, the Republican who holds the county commissioner District 2 seat, is facing two challengers next week: Rhonda Rhoads, who is completing her second term on the county council, and Kenny Saulman, who has served both as a county commissioner and councilman. The winner will face the top vote-getter from the Democrat side, either Carl (Buck) Mathes, who is chairman of the county council and decided not to seek another term on the county council, Donald Mathes, who has run unsuccessfully for other offices, and political newcomer Scott Hussung.

Another countywide race that has multiple candidates is coroner. Steve Hamm, the incumbent, is being challenged on the Republic ticket by Ray Saylor. The winner will face the Democrat nominee, either Gilbert Filmore Jr., Melissa (Missy) McKim, Richard McKinstry or Rusty Sizemore.

For superior court judge, incumbent Democrat Roger D. Davis is being challenged by Leah S. Fink, a former public defender for the county. In November the winner will face Republican John T. Evans, also a public defender, who is unopposed in the primary.

Barbara Mathes, who is completing her term limits in the recorder's office, is running for county clerk on the Democrat ticket. She will face incumbent Sherry Brown, who is completing her first term in that office in the fall. Neither are challenged in the primary.

With the recorder's office up for grabs, there are two candidates for both parties: Steve Arnold, a former coroner in Crawford County, and Carole Gaither, a former Harrison County clerk, on the Democrat ticket, and Barbara Best, a realtor, and Teresa Hamm, who is a former county recorder, on the Republican ticket.

Harrison County Surveyor Tom Bube, a Republican, will face Democrat Carl Duley in the General Election. Neither are opposed in the primary.

North Harrison Community School Corp. will elect board members next week. These are non-partisan races.

The Blue River Township and Morgan Township seats on the North Harrison school board are up for election. Although they are township seats, representatives are selected from the entire school corporation area, which also includes Jackson and Spencer townships.

Seeking the Blue River Township seat is incumbent Buddy Bosler and Michael Beyerle.

Incumbent Ronald Coleman is being challenged by Jerry Renneker for the Morgan Township seat.

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