The list of candidates on the spring election ballot is starting to take shape.
On Wednesday, candidates for local offices started filing to be listed on this year’s primary election ballot. A few candidates filed on the first day, and residents interested in running for office will have until Feb. 5 to file.
And while most voters know that races for president and governor will be on their ballot, they will also have a chance to cast ballots in local races, Clerk Susie Misiniec said.
County commissioners, at-large county council members, surveyor, treasurer and coroner also will be on the ballot this year, Misiniec said.
Misiniec knows voters will be most interested in races for governor and president, but also hopes that local races will draw some interest, she said. The races that typically draw the most interest, including sheriff, prosecutor and judges, won’t be on the ballot until 2018, she said.
After two elections with low turnout, the county is preparing for more voters this year, she said.
Her hope is to see at least a 25 percent turnout in the primary election, but the number could be closer to 50 percent if voters will be making a decision on a candidate in the race for president, Misiniec said. Many years, that decision has already been made through other state’s primaries by the time Indiana votes May 3. But in 2008, Indiana had record turnouts when voters were still deciding who the Democratic presidential candidate should be, she said.
In addition, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, a Republican, is not running for his seat again, and U.S. Rep. Todd Young, a Republican who represents Johnson County, is leaving his congressional seat to run for the open senate seat.
“The big draw this year will be presidential and gubernatorial, and then the senate race,” Misiniec said.
“We are preparing for a big election.”
The following candidates filed for office by Wednesday afternoon:
Ron West, county commissioner, district 3
Brian Baird, county commissioner, district 1
Diane Edwards, treasurer
John Mallers, county council at-large
J. Gregory Cantwell, surveyor
Michele Graves, treasurer
Here is a look at how to file for office:
Visit the voter registration office in the basement of the county courthouse, located at 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin.
The office has prepared candidate packets with all the information needed to become a candidate for local office.
All candidates must file by noon Feb. 5.