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Dems add two to General Election ballot

Harrison County races are now set for the Nov. 8 General Election with the addition of two Democrats filling vacancies on the ballot.
Rusty Sizemore, the county’s current coroner, will face incumbent Republican Harold Klinstiver for surveyor; and Cathy Elbert-McCarty was added to the recorder’s race ballot against Debbie Dennison.
Vacancies were not filled on the Democrat side in the following races (with GOP nominee listed): Circuit Court Judge (incumbent John T. Evans), Circuit Court Clerk (Sherry Brown) and Commissioner District 1, which represents Blue River, Jackson, Morgan and Spencer townships (Charlie Crawford).
Other county races set for November include a contested one between two Corydon residents, incumbent Kenny Saulman, a Republican, and Democrat political newcomer Aaron Haggard, for the Commissioner District 2 seat (Franklin, Harrison and Webster townships). Candidates must live in the district boundaries, but voting is not restricted to district residents. All Harrison County voters will have commissioners’ races on their ballots.
The county council at-large race will have a full slate of three Democrats ‘ Sandy Gettelfinger, Houston Mathes and James Yeager ‘ and three Republicans, Gary Byrne, Jennie Engleman Capelle and Donnie Hussung. Regardless of the outcome, the council will see a complete change in January with three new faces in the at-large seats.
The top three vote-getters will fill the seats of current at-large councilpersons Richard Gerdon, who did not seek re-election; Sherry Brown, who is the GOP nominee for county clerk; and Jim Heitkemper, who fell one position shy (fourth out of seven) of advancing to the General Election on the Republican ticket.
The coroner race will pit Willard M. Haas, a Democrat, against Gary Gilley, who is running as a Republican.
Outside of Harrison County, a change was made in Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat race, with Democrat Baron Hill withdrawing his name from the ballot to make way for Evan Bayh, a former governor and U.S. senator.
Bayh had nearly $10 million leftover in a campaign fund from 2010, when he decided to not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate.
‘With the challenges facing Indiana and our country, I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as partisan bickering grinds Washington to a halt,’ Bayh said. ‘Hoosier families deserve more, and I’ve decided to run to take their cause to the U.S. Senate.’
Hill told supporters his campaign had momentum and was making strides all over Indiana but ‘it is simply not enough to fight back against the slew of out-of-state, special interest and dark money that is certain to come our way between now and November.’
Bayh will face Todd Young, Indiana’s Ninth District Congressman.
‘We are not trembling,’ Trevor Foughty, Young’s campaign manager, said. ‘After he cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, Evan Bayh left Indiana families to fend for themselves so he could cash in with insurance companies and influence peddlers as a gold-plated lobbyist.’
The seat will be vacated by retiring Republican Dan Coats.
As for Young’s current seat, it will be a battle between Democrat Shelli Yoder and Republican Trey Hollingsworth.
The Indiana District 70 race will feature Harrison County Auditor Karen Engleman for the GOP and Heidi Cade Sellers on the Democrat side. Sellers lost to current representative Rhonda Rhoads (who did not seek re-election) in 2014 by about 3,400 votes.
And, of course, the Indiana GOP had to find a new candidate for governor, as Gov. Mike Pence last week officially accepted the nomination to be Donald Trump’s running mate as the vice president candidate.
The party named Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb to do so.
Democrat John Gregg, whom Pence defeated by three points in 2012, will again vie for Indiana’s chief executive office.
Voter registration is now open for those who are not registered or have changed their residency. To register, visit the Harrison County Circuit Court office in the downtown courthouse, call the office at 812-738-4289 or visit harrisoncounty.in.gov.
Voter registration will conclude at the end of the business day on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The General Election also will include school board races.
The first day a person can file a petition to be a school board candidate is today (Wednesday) with the deadline to file at noon Friday, Aug. 26.
North Harrison Community School Corp. will have two seats (Morgan Township, held by Gary Byrne, who will not seek re-election because of his bid for county council, and Blue River Township held by Gregg Oppel) on the ballot.
There will be three seats on the ballot for the South Harrison Community School Corp.: the Boone/Taylor Township seat, held by Shelly M. Romero; the Posey Township seat, held by Melinda Wibbels; and the Harrison Township seat, held by Larry Hauswald.
Three of the five at-large seats for the Lanesville Community School Corp. will be on the ballot. Those seats are currently held by Denzil McKim, Sharon Rothrock and Robert Schickel.
Four Court of Appeals judges are up for retention as well this November. Voters will decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether to retain each appellate judge. A website has been designed by the Supreme Court’s Office of Judicial Administration as a way for voters to make informed decisions about the judges on the ballot. The website can be found at courts.in.gov/retention.
The appellate judges on the retention ballot in 2016 are Judge Terry A. Crone, Third District; Judge James S. Kirsch, Second District; Judge Edward W. Najam, Jr., First District; and Judge Patricia A. Riley, Fourth District.
The website includes biographical information, video of oral arguments and the ability to search decisions written or voted on by the judges.
Later this year, the Indiana State Bar Association will release evaluations of each of the judges from a survey of its members. The results will be available on the retention website.
Indiana has used a merit selection process to choose and retain its appellate judges for the past 44 years. Once appointed, a judge must stand for retention at the first statewide General Election after the judge has served for two full years. If retained, the judge is on the retention ballot every 10 years. The retention system is designed to allow appellate judges to decide cases fairly and impartially, free from campaign finance considerations and without influence by partisan politics.

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