Deadline to seek municipal office is Tuesday

Sunday, June 28, 2015

With just one day until the deadline to file as a candidate for the fall municipal election, three Putnam County towns are at risk of having no election at all.

Although candidates have now filed to seek office in all five incorporated Putnam County towns, a lack of contested races in Cloverdale, Fillmore and Russellville could leave residents in those locales with no ballots to cast on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Would-be candidates only have until noon on Tuesday, June 30 to file their candidate packets in the Voter Registration Office on the second floor of the Putnam County Courthouse.

Last-minute office seekers should beware, however, that running as an independent (the party filing deadline having passed in the spring) requires gathering signatures in the voting district, so strolling in at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday is unlikely a successful strategy.

Anyone wanting to pick up or turn in a candidate packet may do so between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday and between 8 a.m. and noon on Tuesday.

The final wave of candidate filings began in recent days, with seven new candidates officially throwing their hats in the ring in Roachdale, Russellville, Bainbridge and Fillmore.

In Roachdale, voters will have at least three choices for clerk-treasurer and at least five choices for the three at-large council positions.

Incumbent Clerk-treasurer Martha Louk (I) will seek another four-year term, joining fellow independents Kathy Asher and Debbie Sillery in the race.

While no incumbent has filed in the race for Roachdale Town Council, Holly Cook (I), Kevin Cook (I) Rick Miles Jr. (I) have added their names to those of Jim Cromwell (I) and Rick Kiefer (I) in what is now a five-way race for three spots.

Two filings for Russellville Town Council mark the first candidates the northwestern Putnam County town has for the 2015 election. Incumbent Cathy Jones (I) and former Russell Township Trustee Debbie Bartelt (I) are seeking at-large seats on the three-member council.

No candidate has filed for the clerk-treasurer position currently occupied by Devon Davis.

In Bainbridge, the addition of incumbent Ward 1 Councilman Chuck McElwee (I) to the ballot puts one candidate up for each seat, joining newcomer Jerry Lents (I) in Ward 2 and incumbent Joel Thompson (I) in Ward 3.

Bainbridge clerk-treasurer remains a three-way race between independents Bobbi Boller, Monica Bray and Pamela Kashman.

The Fillmore Town Council will have a new member from Ward 3, with Robin Duncan (I) seeking the seat and incumbent Meridith Trusty not running.

Although Ward 2 Councilman Alan Jones is also not looking for another four-year term, no candidate has emerged as a replacement.

Likewise, no candidate has filed for the clerk-treasurer position, even though the recently-appointed Paul Alleyn has expressed interest in continuing in the position.

Incumbent Councilman Curt Leonard (I) is currently unopposed in his reelection bid in Ward 1.

In Cloverdale, no new candidates have filed. Four spots are currently occupied by four candidates, meaning no election will be required unless something changes.

Clerk-treasurer Cheryl Galloway (R) and Ward 2 Councilman Don Sublett (I) both seek reelection to their current posts.

It's slightly more complicated for Gary Bennington (I) and Larry Fidler (I), in that each man is seeking the office currently occupied by the other one. However, Bennington is unopposed in his bid for council at-large and Fidler is unopposed in his bid for Ward 1 councilman.

By law, an incumbent retains a seat in which no candidate files. This scenario played out just last year on the North Putnam School Board, with John Hays retaining his seat when no one ran in Jackson Township.

A complete list of fall election candidates, including the City of Greencastle, will be printed after the ballot goes final on Tuesday.

2015 Town Elections
(Filings as of June 26)

Clerk-Treasurer: Bobbi Boller (I), Monica Bray (I), Pamela Kashman (I)
Council Ward 1: Chuck McElwee* (I)
Council Ward 2: Jerry Lents (I)
Council Ward 3: Joel Thompson* (I)

Clerk-Treasurer: Cheryl Galloway* (R)
Council At-Large: Gary Bennington (I)
Council Ward 1: Larry Fidler (I)
Council Ward 2: Donald Sublett* (I)

Clerk-Treasurer: No candidates filed
Council Ward 1: Curt Leonard* (I)
Council Ward 2: No candidates filed
Council Ward 3: Robin Duncan (I)

Clerk-Treasurer: Katrina "Kathy" Asher (I), Martha Louk* (I), Debbie Sillery (I)
Town Council At-Large (vote for 3): Holly M. Cook (I), Kevin Cook (I), Jim Cromwell (I), Rick Kiefer (I), Rick Miles Jr. (I)

Clerk-Treasurer: No candidates filed
Town Council At-Large (vote for 3): Debbie Bartelt (I), Cathy Jones* (I)