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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Six county candidates today automatically won their general elections five months in advance because deadlines have passed for filings by third-party candidates and caucus selections.
Two state-level candidates with Bartholomew County ties also wrapped up wins in advance.
Today at the noon was the deadline for Libertarian and write-in candidates to file; Monday was the deadline for independent candidates; and the deadline for Democrats to fill vacancies on the ballot by caucus was the end of June. All the deadlines passed without any last-minute filings.
Automatic county winners, all Republicans, were: Larry Kleinhenz, Bartholomew County Commissioners District 1; Larry Fisher, coroner; E.R. Gray, county surveyor; and Bill Lentz, Evelyn Pence and Jim Reed, Bartholomew County Council at-large. Three at-large Council members are elected.
All of these winners are incumbents except Reed, who will fill Fisher's spot. Fisher is returning to the coroner's job that he held before winning a term on the County Council.
State Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, and state Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, who represent portions of Bartholomew County, also clinched early victories. Steele retains the District 44 seat and the general election will officially clinch Smith's fourth consecutive term for District 59.
Only two county races will be decided by the Nov. 6 general election. Republican Jim Worton faces independent Joe Meek for the Superior Court 1 seat. Republican Rick Flohr faces independent Tony London for the Bartholomew County Commissioners District 3 seat.
The Bartholomew County Democratic Party chose not to field any candidates as they try to rebuild the party.
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