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Name will be on commissioner ballot because of late withdrawal

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One candidate running for Johnson County Commissioner has a unique message this campaign season: don’t vote for him.

Republican Dan Jackson wants to withdraw his name as a candidate for the District 2 commissioner’s seat, but he will remain on the primary ballot. Jackson has started a new job that will require too much of his time to also serve as a commissioner, but the deadline to remove his name from the ballot was Feb. 10.

Commissioner Tom Kite, who currently represents District 2, is not running for re-election. Kevin Walls is the only other Republican running for the seat, which represents the central part of the county, in the primary. No one filed to run for the seat as a Democrat, but a candidate can be slated by the party after the primary election.

Jackson is currently a finance director for Cummins in Columbus, but has accepted a position as a marketing manager with Carrier in Indianapolis. He began his new job on March 31 and did not feel he would have time to campaign for the position.

“And then I’m afraid if I did win, that I wouldn’t be able to give the time to the job that it demands,” Jackson said.

Walls had already purchased signs and planned to mail brochures to residents when Jackson called him to tell him he wasn’t going to actively campaign for the position. Walls plans to run his campaign as planned, by putting signs out, mailing brochures, and greeting voters at area events.

“I’ll keep moving forward as I was,” Walls said. “I’m not really putting the brakes on because I want people to know who I am.”

Walls, 53, is a general contractor who lives near Bargersville in Union Township. He is a Center Grove graduate.

“I’ve been living in the county for 53 years and it’s been good to me and my family,” Walls said. “I thought it was time I ran for office and gave something back.”

Overcrowding at the jail will be a key issue facing the commissioners in the near future, Walls said. He did not want to take a stance on the issue until he would be able to learn more about the sheriff’s office.

“I think the county has been well ran the past few years,” Walls said. “Nothing really sticks out to me as major issues or things I would change, but there is always room for improvement with everything you do.”

Jackson’s name will remain on the ballot, but he supports Walls for the position.

“I really wanted to get involved in politics, but this job was too good of an opportunity to pass on,” Jackson said.

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