GREENSBURG – The primary election on May 6 so far will have only one race, for Sandcreek Township Trustee, that will feature a contest among both Democrats and Republicans.
The primary election allows the electorate to choose which candidates within a political party will vie for public office in the fall against candidates from other parties.
Many major offices, including superior court judge, prosecuting attorney, sheriff and county council, feature no contests in the primary, meaning that no more than one candidate per party has indicated a willingness to seek the office.
Even worse, in many races — superior court judge, recorder, coroner, assessor, county council and others — at least one party, mostly the Democratic Party, has not filed any candidate at all. Until recently, Republicans did not have a candidate for sheriff, but on Jan. 31, Deputy Steven A. Synder filed paperwork to seek the office. As of Thursday afternoon, he was unopposed in the Republican primary.
Candidates for political office must file their paperwork by noon today to be on the ballot for the primary election.
All parties, including third parties such as Libertarians, have until July 3 to select a candidate through caucus or party chair to assure a contest in the general election this fall.
Republican Party Chair Larry Meyer said he thinks the lack of competition on the Republican ticket indicates the high quality of incumbents.
“However,” he said, “I would like to see more people jump in and get involved.”
Republicans have contested primary races for trustee in Adams, Sandcreek and Washington townships; Fugit Township Advisory Board; and County Commissioner District 2, where incumbent Jerome A. Buening will be challenged by Betty Whipple Louden.
Meyer said that to fill open spots he calls people who he thinks would make good candidates, and in the general election, he expects Republicans to contest every race. With the exception of County Council District 3, where as of Thursday afternoon only Democrat Kenneth L. Owens had filed; trustee positions in Marion and Saltcreek townships, where only Democrats had filed; and Sandcreek Township Advisory Board, where only three Democrats had filed, Republicans already have candidates for all offices in the fall.