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Election 2014: Week into filing, Democrats scarce

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A week into the filing season for Bartholomew County candidates seeking political office, there still are no Democrats running for offices above the rank of precinct committeeman.

While the Democratic Party managed to field several local candidates in the 2011 city election, most of them lost by wide margins to Republicans that year.

Following the Jan. 8 opening day of filing, Bartholomew County Democratic Party chairwoman Priscilla Scalf said her party still was recruiting candidates.

In 2012, the only local Democrat whose name appeared on a November general ballot was Greg Sims, who won an uncontested seat on the Hope Town Council.

While several Republican incumbents have announced their intentions to seek re-election, at least two newcomers are challenging for a seat on the Bartholomew County Council.

  • Marcus Speer, a minister known for his involvement in 4-H and other youth activities, is expected to challenge District One council member Chris Ogle in the May primary. Speer filed his candidacy Jan. 9. Ogle, who was elected to his first term in 2010, is likely to seek reelection but has not yet submitted his paperwork, Republican Party Chairwoman Barb Hackman said.
  • Columbus businesswoman and real estate agent Laura DeDomenic filed her candidacy Jan. 9 to succeed Rob Kittle as the County Council District Two representative. Kittle, a captain with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, announced last year that he would run for sheriff but has not yet filed papers to seek that office. Incumbent sheriff Mark Gorbett is prevented by law from seeking a third consecutive term.

Also seeking a countywide office is Pia O’Connor, filing to run for a second term as Bartholomew County treasurer. O’Connor served six years on the Bartholomew Consolidated Schools board before she won her current position uncontested in 2010.

Five township trustees, all Republicans, have filed to retain their seats:

  • Bruce Bartells, Jackson township
  • David Dwyer, Harrison township
  • Joanne Flohr, Ohio township
  • Ben Jackson, Columbus township
  • Lisa Moore, Flatrock township

Despite being an incumbent, this will be Jackson’s first run at elective office.

In July, he was chosen by a group of Republican precinct committeewomen to fill the remaining term of Fred Barkes, who resigned after becoming the subject of an Indiana State Police investigation. Barkes died Aug. 13.

The final day that candidates may file to run in the upcoming primary and general elections is Feb. 7.

Bartholomew County candidate filings

The following candidates have taken steps to seek election during the first week of filing:

County sheriff: Todd Noblitt (R), Dean Johnson (R)

County commissioner, District 2: Carl Lienhoop (R)

County clerk: Karen Aud (R), Jay Phelps (R)

County recorder: Anita Hole (R)

County auditor: Barbara Hackman (R)

County treasurer: Pia O’Conner (R)

County Council District 1: Marcus Speer (R)

County Council District 2: Laura DeDomenic (R)

County Council District 4: Jorge Morales (R)

Columbus Township Trustee: Ben Jackson (R)

Flatrock Township Trustee: Lisa Moore (R)

Harrison Township Trustee: David Dwyer (R)

Jackson Township Trustee: Bruce Bartells (R)

Ohio Township Trustee: Joanne Flohr (R)

Flatrock Township Advisory Board: Charlie DeWeese (R)

Elizabethtown town council: Shannon Henson (R)

Judge, Superior Court 2: Greg Long (R)

State Convention Delegate District 1: Jorge Morales (R)

State Convention Delegate District 2: Anita Hole (R)

State Convention Delegate District 3: DeWayne Hines (R)

State Convention Delegate At Large: Barbara Hackman (R), Jay Phelps (R), Pia O’Conner (R), Laura DeDomenic (R) and

Ben Jackson (R)

Precinct Committeeman 0225: Cabrina Jackson (D)

Precinct Committeeman 1200: Dennis Baute (D)

Precinct Committeeman 1900: Christopher Rutan (D)

State Convention delegate at-large: Christopher Rutan (D)

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