By ANDY MCCAMMON
Area Republicans are lining up to contend for their party's nomination for the District 44 seat in the Indiana House of Representatives, according to a state election official.
Six candidates have thrown their hats in the ring since incumbent Andy Thomas withdrew from the race last month. Republican officials will hold a caucus tonight at the Putnam County Courthouse to name Thomas' replacement, who will face Parke County Democrat Richard Thompson in the Nov. 7 general election.
Cody Kendall, co-general counsel to the Indiana Election Division, said five candidates had filed prior to the deadline at noon on Monday: Jeremy M. Carver, Katheryn E. Deer and Kenneth John Eitel, all of Greencastle, and Brazil residents George F. Maurer and Amos P. Thomas.
A call to the Republican Party's state headquarters Tuesday confirmed that a sixth candidate, Darwyn Nelson of Cloverdale, would also vie for the nomination.
District 44 includes all of Putnam County and portions of Clay, Parke and Vigo counties. Republican precinct committee members from throughout the district will vote to select Thomas' replacement.
Check tomorrow's edition of The Brazil Times for complete coverage of the caucus.
Jason Moon contributed to this report.