The candidate list for the 2010 Primary Election is set.
The deadline to withdraw declarations of candidacy came and passed at noon, Feb. 22, without any movement on the county level, but the same could not be said on the state and federal levels.
As anticipated with his announcement Friday, Feb. 19, he would run for former Indiana governor Evan Bayh's seat in the United States Senate, current District 8 United States Representative Brad Ellsworth withdrew his name as a candidate for re-election.
The move leaves newcomer W. Trent VanHaaften as the lone democratic candidate on the primary ballot as eight individuals battling it out on the republican ticket.
Ellsworth, however, is not guaranteed a spot in the Senate race in the General Election. Because he had not officially filed to be on the Primary ballot by the deadline, the states 32-member Democratic Central Committee would have to nominate him as a candidate by June 30. Currently, Rep. Baron Hill, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. and former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett have also been mentioned as possible candidates for the Democratic Senate nod.
Also withdrawing his name as a candidate in the Primary was Democrat Charles A. Toth in the District 46 State Representative race. This leaves Randy G. Carter, Kal Ellis and Bionca D. Gambill on the Democratic ticket and Bob Heaton on the Republican side with hope to fill the seat which will be voided by Vern Tincher, who announced he would not be running for re-election Feb. 8.
Locally, many incumbent county officials have clinched a spot on the General Election ballot as only Clay County Prosecutor B. Lee Reberger has an opponent in his political party for the Primary. Former Clay Circuit Court Judge Robert (Bob) Pell filed his declaration of candidacy as a Republican, alongside Reberger, Feb. 18. Area attorney Charles Hear is unopposed on the Democratic ticket for Prosecutor in the Primary.
While District 3 County Council member Dolores Johnson is unopposed on the Democratic side for her re-election bid in the Primary, Toni L. Cater and Rick E. Neier will face off on the Republican side in the same race.
In all other county races -- Auditor, Treasurer, Sheriff, Assessor, District 3 County Commissioner and Districts 1, 2 and 4 County Council -- the current officeholder was the lone candidate to file.
Clay County Deputy Clerk Beth Mallinak told The Brazil Times each political party may caucus in a candidate to fill a vacancy left on the ballot starting Wednesday, May 5, which is a day after the Primary Election.
"While they don't necessarily have to fill the vacancy, the caucus must be completed by noon on June 30 to put a candidate on the General Election ballot," Mallinak said.
She added the 10 current Democratic precinct committeeman vacancies may be appointed by the party chairman after the Primary, but they will not be able to participate in the caucus to fill other vacancies.
"In the township board races, up to three individuals from each party may be included on the General Election ballot," Mallinak said. "These openings may also be filled during the caucus."
Currently, none of the races for township boards have more than three candidates in any one political party, meaning all who filed for those positions will move on to the General Election.
However, there are active races in the Primary for Brazil Township Trustee (Vickie M. Lawhorn and incumbent Marcia Tozer -- both Democrats) and Van Buren Township Trustee (Charles J. Thompson and incumbent Paul H. Hackett -- both Republicans), with the winner of each race in the Primary moving on to the General Election.
For more information about the 2010 elections, log on to www.in.gov/sos/elections or contact the Clay County Election Office at 448-9023.
Independent, write-in notice
While noon, Wednesday, June 30, is the deadline for major political parties to fill vacancies on November's General Election Ballot, it is also the final day for individuals to file a petition of nomination for independent and minor party candidates.
These candidates must also file a verification of petition signatures to the Clay County Election Office.
For those wanting to appear on the General Election Ballot as a write-in candidate, noon, Tuesday, July 6, is the deadline to file a declaration of intent.
Following the verification of petition signatures, independent and minor party candidates will have until noon, Thursday, July 15, to file a declaration of candidacy with the petition of nomination. It is also the deadline for the Democratic, Libertarian and Republican parties to file a certificate of nomination of candidates nominated at the state party conventions, as well as for any candidate to voluntarily withdraw from the Nov. 2, 2010 General Election.