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January 8, 2014

FIRST TO FILE: 2014 election season begins in Southern Indiana

Clark, Floyd clerk's offices see little traffic on first filing day

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Election 2014 is officially underway.

Wednesday marked the first day candidates could file for the 2014 primary election to be held May 6. As of noon three candidates had already filed in the Floyd County Clerk’s office, and by the end of the day, six had made it official. Candidates have until noon, Feb. 7, to file.

The Floyd County Democratic Party invited its candidates to the City-County Building for a meet and greet Wednesday afternoon and several attended. Party Chairman Adam Dickey said he is excited about the upcoming election cycle and the Democratic candidates who have filed, or will file before the Feb. 7 deadline.

“I believe we will fill every race on the ballot,” Dickey said.

There is expected to be competition in several races in the Democratic primary including Floyd County Council 1st District where incumbent Tom Pickett will face at least one primary opponent, Larry Summers, and likely a third in former councilman Ted Heavrin, who is expected to enter the race. Both Pickett and Summers filed Wednesday. There will be at least two candidates for sheriff, Jeff Topping and Brad Striegel, as well as two for Floyd County Superior II Judge, Matt Lorch and Richard Rush.

“We will have a few interesting races to watch in the primary,” Dickey said. “As chairman you always want a vibrant and active party. You want different people who represent different ideas and then let the community choose who will be the best leader.”

Besides Pickett and Summers, other Democrats who filed on the first day were Christy Eurton, Floyd County Clerk; Patricia Badger-Byrd, Floyd County Assessor; Topping, Floyd County Sheriff; and Maria Granger, Floyd County Judge Superior 3. Judges and state candidates must file election papers in Indianapolis.

Floyd County Republican Chairman Dave Matthews also expects to have candidates in every race, and like the Democrats, there will be some competition in the primary. Steve Bush and Frank Loop are both running for sheriff in the Republican primary.

“We have two strong candidates there,” Matthews said. “People have said they don’t have choices in a primary. They will have choices this time.”

Matthews said Republicans are still the party of limited government and lower taxes. He said the Republican majority on the Floyd County Council has not raised taxes despite the financial problems facing the county. He also said it’s important at the local level to maintain fiscal responsibility, something not seen on the national scene.

“With what you see happening at the national level, local governments have to become more frugal and conservative in the way they spend taxpayers’ money. I think we do that best,” he said.

Loop was the only Republican candidate to officially file on Wednesday according to the clerk’s website.

Dickey, who took over as the Democratic chairman last March, said there is a lot of energy in his party. He also said with the county facing a large budget deficit, it’s time to point out the ineffectiveness of Republican leadership.

“I’m confident that the Democratic candidates seeking office this cycle will illustrate the clear differences between our party and that of local Republicans,” Dickey said.

Matthews said he hopes his party does as well in this non-presidential election as it did in 2010 when it won every race.

“There was a strong anti-Obama vote in 2010,” Matthews said.  

Floyd County offices up for grabs in 2014 include: Superior Court No. 1, Superior Court No. 2, Superior Court No. 3, Prosecutor, Clerk, Auditor, Assessor, Sheriff, Commissioner District 1, Commissioner District 4, County Council District 1, County Council District 2, County Council District 3.

CLARK COUNTY

The first day to file for May’s primary election saw a handful of candidates declare, including two sheriff’s candidates that could face off during the general election in November.

Jamey Noel, Republican, and Brian Meyer, Democrat, were among the first to file their paperwork Wednesday to be on the ballot for the primary election. Both men will be running for Clark County Sheriff.

The lone incumbent to file on the first day was Brian Lenfert, Republican, who filed for re-election to his District 2 Clark County Council seat.

Others filing for the primary on the first day included David Abbott, Democrat, who will be running for Clark County Commissioner District 3. The current Clark County Commissioner representing District 3 is Democrat John Perkins, who had not filed his paperwork for the primary as of Wednesday.

Lincoln Crum, Democrat, filed to run for Clark County Recorder; Steve Fleece, Democrat, filed to run for Clark County Clerk; and Greg Alexander filed to be the Union Township Trustee on the Republican ballot.

Other offices that will appear on the ballot include: Clark County Commissioners District 3, which is the only commissioners seat up for election; Clark County Council Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4; Clark County Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Treasurer, Recorder, Surveyor; Clark County Prosecutor, Clark County Circuit Court No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 judges; and several trustee and township board positions.

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Judy Lunsford works on a lesson plan for her students with fellow teachers, Ellen Rothstein and Adam Stephens, in her classroom at Northaven Elementary in Jeffersonville Wednesday afternoon. Lunsford, a new addition to Northaven, will be teaching second grade.

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