Not a single local Democrat will appear on Bartholomew County’s Nov. 6 ballot, leaving possible independents and minor party candidates as Republicans’ only opposition.
Voters will know by noon Monday, the last deadline for candidates, whether Republican candidates for coroner, surveyor, a county commissioner seat and three county council seats automatically will win office — four months before the election, Bartholomew County Clerk Tami Hines said.
Independent Tony London, who did not have to run in the May primary, will face Republican Rick Flohr for the District 3 commissioner seat. Joe Meek, an independent, submitted the mandatory 390 minimum petition signatures for judge of Superior Court 1, guaranteeing his candidacy as well.
It remains to be seen whether any more independents or minor party candidates will emerge by the Monday deadline.
The voter registration office has until July 16 to verify petition signatures to determine whether the filers can enter the race.
The local Democratic Party, however, needed to declare its intention to caucus by June 20 to enter a candidate. No such declaration was made.
That means local Democrats will not appear on the general election ballot, just as none appeared on the primary ballot.
Zack Ellison, vice chairman for the local Democrats, said the Democratic Party decided there was too little time between its replacement of key officers around the end of May and the upcoming general election for the party to cultivate good candidates.
He said that’s why the Democrats decided not to run anyone, choosing instead to begin trying to rebuild the party.
Republicans have dominated in recent Columbus and Bartholomew County elections.
Ellison said the Democrats want to develop and spread a unified message that their party supports the middle class more effectively than Republicans.
He hopes that out of that process the party can find quality Democrats to run for city and county offices.
Democratic Party Chairwoman Priscilla Scalf, who replaced Jaimie Johns as party leader in May, said the party has been working to elect Democrats at the state and national levels.
“With the right effort, we can turn this around,” Ellison said.
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