When you head out to vote this year, you could be choosing between multiple candidates in local, state and federal offices.

On the first day of filing for this year’s primary election, at least 11 county residents filed to become candidates for local political offices. With a total of 70 township, school board, municipal and county offices on the ballot this year, local election officials are expecting a significant number of candidates to run for office.

In the time leading up to the candidate filing period opening on Wednesday, county employees handed out forms to nearly a dozen potential candidates, Johnson County Deputy Clerk Reagan Higdon said. The forms are also available online at the Indiana Secretary of State’s website, she said.

With multiple offices up for election this year, she expects candidate turnout to be decent. Candidates have about a month to put their name in to run for elected office.

“Usually we have a few more at the end,” Higdon said. “Some wait until the end to see who has filed and decide if they want to run.”

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the first day of filing, 11 candidates had dropped off their forms.

One of the first was one of the candidates running for sheriff, a race that is expected to be hotly contested since Sheriff Doug Cox is not running again.

Kirby Cochran, a sheriff’s office investigator, Stoney Vann, an Indiana State Police officer, Duane Burgess, the county jail commander, and Jack Bedan, a state police officer, had all created exploratory committees to begin raising money for the sheriff race. By Wednesday afternoon, Cochran and Vann had filed as candidates.

Others had filed for other offices, including county clerk, township trustee and county auditor and county assessor. Candidates have until Feb. 9 to file to run for office.

Local positions up for election also include two judges, the prosecutor and county clerk and seats on the Bargersville, Edinburgh and New Whiteland town councils and all six school boards, though voters will not cast ballots in the non-partisan school board races until November. Also on the ballot: four state representatives and a state senator who represent portions of Johnson County, along with U.S. Congress and Senate.

Once the filing period ends, the county will have about two months to prepare for voting to begin in the primary election, where voters will select the candidates from each party to run in the general election. In Johnson County, since the majority of voters cast Republican ballots, races are often decided in the primary election.

Voters who want to be able to cast a ballot must be registered to vote, and have until April 9 to register or update any information needed, such as if they have moved.

The county is again planning to use vote centers this year, where voters can cast their ballots at any of a handful of locations throughout the county on Election Day. But the county will also again offer early voting in the month leading up to Election Day, and multiple locations will again be opened.

At a glance

Here’s a look at what Johnson County offices will be up for election in 2018:

Federal offices

U.S. Senator

U.S. Congress, District 9

State offices

Secretary of State

Auditor of State

Treasurer of State

State Senator, District 41

State Representative, Districts 47, 58, 65 and 93

County offices

Circuit Court Judge

Superior Court No. 1 Judge







County Commissioner, District 2

County Council, District 1, 2, 3 and 4

Municipal offices

Bargersville Town Council At-large, 2 seats

Edinburgh Town Council At-large, 2 seats

New Whiteland Town Council, Wards 2 and 5

School boards

Center Grove School Board At-large, 3 seats

Clark-Pleasant School Board, Clark Township, 2 seats

Clark-Pleasant School Board, Pleasant Township

Edinburgh School Board At-large

Edinburgh School Board, Blue River Township, 2 seats

Franklin School Board, Needham Township

Franklin School Board, Union Township

Greenwood School Board At-large, 2 seats

Greenwood School Board, District 2

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson School Board, Hensley Township

Township offices

Blue River Township Trustee

Blue River Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Clark Township Trustee

Clark Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Franklin Township Trustee

Franklin Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Hensley Township Trustee

Hensley Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Needham Township Trustee

Needham Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Nineveh Township Trustee

Nineveh Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Pleasant Township Trustee

Pleasant Township Advisory Board, 3 members

Union Township Trustee

Union Township Advisory Board, 3 members

White River Township Trustee

White River Township Advisory Board, 3 members

At a glance

Interested in running for election? Here’s how you can file to become a candidate:

Residents running for township, school board, municipal or county offices can file for office at the Johnson County Clerk’s Office at the Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin.

Residents filing for state or federal office must do so at the Indiana Secretary of State’s office at 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, or with the Indiana Election Division in room E-204 of the Indiana Government Center at 302 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s office.

At a glance

Here is a look at candidates who began filing for local office starting on Wednesday, the first day of filing:

Kirby Cochran, Republican, Johnson County Sheriff

Trena McLaughlin, Republican, Johnson County Clerk

Pamela Burton, Republican, Johnson County Auditor

Roger Dale Hitz, Republican, Bargersville Town Council

Stoney Vann, Republican, Johnson County Sheriff

Mark Alexander, Republican, Johnson County Assessor

Greg Rainbolt, Republican, White River Township Trustee

Beth Baird, Republican, Hensley Township Trustee

Kyle Swain, Democrat, Johnson County Recorder

Lydia Wales, Republican, Franklin Township Trustee

Marshall Ryan Piercefield, Republican, Edinburgh Town Council At-large

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.