Local Dem, GOP parties fill some vacancies on November ballot

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Jul. 13—Both the Howard County Democratic and Republican parties filled some of the vacancies on the November general election ballot, ensuring that most local races will be contested. But some notable races, including Howard County sheriff, Superior Court I judgeship and Center Township trustee, will remain uncontested.

The deadline to fill vacancies for the Nov. 8 general election was last week. This year's general election will consist of largely countywide, township races and some Statehouse races with plenty of both old and new faces.

Following the spring's primary election, the Howard County Democratic Party had the most work to do to fill ballot vacancies. Earlier this year, party Chairperson Annette Bourff Milam said the party would likely fill the County Council seats, which is what happened.

"I'm terribly excited because it seems like the last several years the ballots have been nearly empty," Bourff Milam said. "The ballot we have, we have vetted the people, talked to them numerous times. We couldn't be happier.

"I wish we could have found one for the prosecutor, sheriff and the judge, and we certainly did look. There just wasn't anyone interested in doing that."

The Howard County Republicans will look to maintain their control over county government. Many incumbents are running for reelection, but due to retirements and resignations, some new faces will be on the ballot.

"The Howard County Republican Party is energized and will lead strongly into the fall election with our entire slate of candidates," GOP Chairperson Jennifer Jack said. "We have a great combination of experience, youth, and overall dedication to the community as evidenced up and down our slate."

Here are the candidates for most of the county races that will be on the November ballot:

Howard County Council

This November, County Council Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are up for grabs and each one will be contested.

District 1 covers Indian Heights and all of eastern Howard County.

Republican: John Roberts, incumbent.

Democrat: Gary Rhinebarger

District 2 covers southwest Kokomo, the town of Russiaville and western Howard County south of Wildcat Creek.

Republican: To be decided. Incumbent Jamie Bolser has announced her resignation as she and her husband will be taking new jobs in Richmond. It's unclear at this time who the local GOP will choose to replace her.

Democrat: Michelle Martin

District 3 covers downtown Kokomo, eastern Kokomo and is bounded to the north by East 300 North and to the south by Lincoln Road.

Republican: Timothy Cuthbert

Democrat: Donnie Haworth

District 4 covers the western and northwestern parts of Kokomo and all of western Howard County north of Wildcat Creek.

Republican: Bryan Alexander, incumbent.

Democrat: Cidnee Ward.

Howard County Commissioner

District 1, covers western Howard County.

Republican: Jeff Lipinski

Democrat: Lisa Washington

Howard County sheriff

Republican: Jerry Asher, incumbent.

Howard County prosecutor

Republican: Mark McCann, incumbent.

Superior Court I judge

Republican: Matt Elkin

Howard County clerk

Republican: Debbie Stewart, incumbent.

Democrat: Annette Bourff Milam

Howard County recorder

Republican: Jennifer Jack, incumbent.

Democrat: Essie Foster

Howard County assessor

Republican: Mindy Heady, incumbent.

Democrat: Rebekah Renner

Center Township trustee

Democrat: Andrew Durham

Center Township Board (pick 3)

Republican: Linda Koontz, incumbent. Debra Rahe. Tommy Cleaver

Democrat: Steve Geiselman, incumbent. Natalie Guest Born, incumbent. Kenneth Ferries

Center Township assessor

Republican: Tanner Heady

Democrat: Sheila Pullen, incumbent.

Greentown Town Council At-large

Republican: James Skinner. Scott Deyoe

Democrat: Bryan Bertoline

Greentown clerk/treasurer

Republican: Teresa Duke

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.