City election: Filing closes for 2023 races

Republic file photo Columbus City Hall.

Filings have closed for the 2023 municipal election, with the Bartholomew County Democratic Party declining to nominate a candidate for mayor of Columbus.

This means that the mayoral race is between City Director of Administration and Community Development Mary Ferdon, a Republican, and bartender Sean Burton, an independent.

“We made a decision to field a qualified candidate if we had one, but we were also cognizant of our real focus here, which is the city council races,” said Bartholomew County Democratic Party Chair Ross Thomas.

There were several individuals who considered running for mayor and would have made “excellent” candidates, but none of them ended up filing, he said. Additionally, the party did not want to file a candidate for the race simply for the sake of filling the spot.

“All that does is drive up Republican turnout,” said Thomas.

Sean Webster previously filed to run for the Democratic nomination in late January but withdrew after learning his residence, located in Wayne Township, is 195 feet outside the city limits.

A number of individuals have filed for municipal races over the past couple of weeks, with political parties having until noon on July 5 to fill vacancies from the primary.

While the 2023 Indiana Election Calendar lists the deadline as July 3 at noon, elections administrator Taylor Seegraves said that it was pushed back to Wednesday due to the Bartholomew County Clerk’s Office being closed on Monday for the July 4th holiday.

The final candidate to file was Jay Foyst, with Foyst and the Bartholomew County Republican Party turning in the necessary paperwork on Wednesday for his candidacy in Columbus City Council District 6. According to the minutes from Saturday’s caucus, precinct committee members voted unanimously to place Foyst on the ballot.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Assuming no candidates withdraw — the deadline to do so is July 17 at noon — the following candidates are on the ballot:

Columbus Mayor

Mary Ferdon (R)

Sean Burton (Independent)

Columbus City Council District 1

Nick Slabaugh (D)

Christopher Lee Bartels (R)

Columbus City Council District 2

Elaine Hilber (D)

Victoria Griffin (R)

Columbus City Council District 3

Jerone Wood (D)

Sue Norman-Chapple (R)

Columbus City Council District 4

Keegan Hill (D)

Frank Miller (R)

Columbus City Council District 5

Eric Riddle (D)

Kent Anderson (R)

Columbus City Council District 6

Bryan Muñoz (D)

Jay Foyst (R)

Columbus City Council At-Large (vote for three)

Tom Dell (D)

Paul Hoffman (D)

Grace Kestler (D)

Josh Burnett (R)

Alex Engelbert (R)

Christopher Rutan (R)

Columbus City Clerk

Quisha Jackson (D)

Luann Welmer (R)