On Wednesday morning, Todd Noblitt followed in the footsteps of the two most recent Republican candidates for sheriff to win office.
That’s in being the first person in line to file for the primary election on the opening day of filing.
Voters in the May 6 primary will choose fall general election candidates for offices including Bartholomew County commissioner for District 2, four members of county council, sheriff, prosecutor and Superior Court 2 judge.
Noblitt, a major who serves as chief deputy for the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, was one of four people waiting to file as the county clerk’s voter registration office opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Others waiting to file included Commissioner Carl Lienhoop and two candidates for county clerk, Karen Aud and Jay Phelps.
The two most recent sheriffs, incumbent Mark Gorbett and former Sheriff Kenny Whipker, both were the first in line to file for the office in their previous election runs.
Noblitt likely will face a crowded primary, with four other announced candidates for the office: Columbus police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers and sheriff’s deputies Sgt. T.A. Smith, Sgt. Dean Johnson and Capt. Rob Kittle.
Noblitt said he spoke to the previous sheriffs and decided it was important for him to also be first in line Wednesday. He said he thinks it shows voters that he is going to run hard in the race.
Aud was second in line, and Phelps was fourth.
Both had only short walks to drop off their paperwork. Aud is chief deputy in the clerk’s office, and Phelps is supervisor of voter registration and elections in the clerk’s office, both located in the Courthouse.
Aud said that, as soon as she announced for office, she knew she wanted to be one of the first in line.
“I wanted to be in here early to show my enthusiasm and determination to be the next clerk of Bartholomew County,” Aud said. “It is a relief, and it feels good. I am excited to get started and to put my thoughts and campaign together.”
Phelps is running for office for the first time, although he has been on the other side of the counter in the clerk’s voter registration office, receiving the forms for three previous years. After helping Clerk Tami Hines take the first three applicants, he pulled on a blazer and took his place on the other side of the counter.
“I feel like a candidate now,” Phelps said. “I feel like I can really start spreading the word and start on the right foot. It is really refreshing to come in here and see folks being involved in the process. I am excited.”
Lienhoop was third in line and filed for his fourth term on the county’s executive body. He had to reschedule a doctor’s appointment to make sure he could be there Wednesday morning and was concerned Tuesday night about the road conditions. But everything was clear when he set out Wednesday morning, arriving as the doors opened.
“I have always made a commitment that if I was going to do this, the first hour of filing was real important to me,” Lienhoop said. “I want people to know that I am serious about it. And I have done that consistently over the other filings. The job is important. It is important to the people, and it is important to me.”
Ten people filed for elected offices Wednesday.
County Republican Party Chairwoman Barb Hackman said it has been a tradition in years past for the entire slate of Republican candidates to file at once. But with the poor weather and bad road conditions, she didn’t try to press everyone to show up at the same time.
Priscilla Scalf, the county Democratic Party chairwoman, said she did not expect any Democratic candidates to file for office Wednesday, and the party is still recruiting candidates.
“The important thing is that they file. And obviously for any candidate, it is getting out there and doing the footwork and getting to know the people and letting them know you are running,” Scalf said. “I think that is more important than the day you file.”
The only Democrat to file for any race Wednesday was a precinct committee member for Precinct 225.
Clerk Tami Hines, who is prevented by term limits from running again, presented each first-day filer with a packet of information on deadlines, forms and other information.
New this year is a voter registration form that requires a candidate who receives a voter registration form from a voter to agree to deposit it with the clerk’s office within 10 days of receipt.
She said that many candidates have voter registration drives, but sometimes the completed forms have not all made their way back to her office, leading to some people thinking they are registered to vote when they are not. Under a new state law, candidates and others registering voters must agree to the 10-day deadline.
The following candidates filed for office on Wednesday:
County commissioner, District 2: Carl Lienhoop (R)
Judge, Superior Court 2: Greg Long (R)
County sheriff: Todd Noblitt (R), Dean Johnson (R)
County clerk: Karen Aud (R), Jay Phelps (R)
County recorder: Anita Hole (R)
County auditor: Barbara Hackman (R)
County Council District 4: Jorge Morales (R)
Elizabethtown Town Council: Shannon Henson (R)
The following candidates previously announced their intention to run for office, but have yet to file for office:
County sheriff: Matt Myers (R), T.A. Smith (R), Rob Kittle (R)
County prosecutor: Bill Nash (R)
Judge and prosecutor candidates file with the Indiana Secretary of State. Complete listings from the first day of filing at that office were not available by Wednesday afternoon.
2014 local elections
Other candidates that filed for the primary election Wednesday:
State Convention Delegate District 1: Jorge Morales (R)
State Convention Delegate District 2: Anita Hole (R)
State Convention Delegate At Large: Barbara Hackman (R) Jay Phelps (R)
Precinct Committeeman 0225: Cabrina Jackson (D)
What you should know
The 2014 primary and general elections will include races for the Indiana secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and U.S. House of Representatives and representatives in the Indiana House.
Among the local offices up for election on Bartholomew County ballots:
Indiana Senate districts 41 and 43
Superior Court judge
County Commissioner District 2
County Council Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4
Township trustees and advisory boards
Clifford Town Council
Edinburgh Town Council
Hope Town Council at-large
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Districts 1, 2, 4, 6
Three seats on Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Board
Three seats on Edinburgh Community School Corp.
Democrat Precinct Committeeman
Democrat State Convention delegates
Republican State Convention delegates