VERNON — Vernon residents have only one contested race to decide — mayor — and the woman charged with overseeing elections in Indiana will help the town kick off its unique process for choosing its officials.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson will open the polls at noon Monday at the Jennings County Historical Society, 134 E. Brown St. Voting ends at 6 p.m.
Rachael Shaw is running against incumbent Mayor Daniel W. Wright for control of the town’s reins. Wright and Shaw are both running as citizen candidates.
Shaw is a lifelong resident of Vernon and also has served as a leader at the North Vernon Post Office.
“What fun is a race without someone to run against,” said Shaw. “It’s not that Danny (Wright) hasn’t done a good job, he has, but he’s been in 10 years and I think it’s time someone else makes a run for it.”
Shaw said she would like to spend time developing the Labor Day festivities in Vernon. She would also like to see more activities for children in the community and attention given to development of tourism around Vernon’s history.
Wright’s goals if he is re-elected include upgrading water and sewer services, renewing the old Town Hall and improving the Labor Day Festival.
He doesn’t mind having an opponent.
“It makes it more fun,” said Wright, who has served as mayor for the past 10 years. “I just do this to do what I can to help Vernon. It’s fine either way.”
Vernon’s town marshal and clerk-treasurer positions, and the seats for 1st, 2nd and 3rd wards of the Town Council are all uncontested races. Those races include:
Vernon is the only Hoosier town that is allowed to elect its mayor and town marshal, because the town was founded before Indiana became a state.
The town also is the only one in Indiana to conduct local elections every two years instead of every four years. There are no primaries.
Vernon has a population of 318, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
The voting site was moved to the Jennings County Historical Society building to accommodate a larger-than-expected voter turnout, Wright said.
The previously planned location was at the sewer and water office on Perry Street.
Voting is open to all adult residents of Vernon 18 and older.
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