New filing puts GOP primary race for coroner in place

Recent filings at the courthouse in Brownstown have added a fourth Republican race for a countywide seat to the May 3 primary ballot.

There were still no Democratic Party races on the ballot as of noon Wednesday.

The latest GOP race pits political newcomers Michael Bobb and Mark D. Holt, both of Seymour, for the coroner’s seat.

That seat is presently held by Democrat Roger Wheeler, who is wrapping up his second four-year term as coroner. State law limits the coroner and sheriff to two consecutive four-year terms. Wheeler’s salary for 2015 was $10,048.

Bobb said he has always had an interest in becoming more involved in county government, and that is part of the reason behind his decision to run.

“This is a place for me start,” the 63-year-old said.

Holt could not be reached for comment.

Other new filings include Fred Gill and Ann Cain, both of Seymour, and Ralph Collins of Medora, who are pursuing the Republican nominations for the three county council at-large seats.

Two Democrats, Kathy Schafstall of Seymour and Steve Ritter of Norman, also recently filed declarations for that party’s nominations for those at-large council seats.

Schafstall, a political newcomer, said running for office and giving back to the community is something she always has had an interest in doing.

“This just seems like the right time to do it,” she said.

Ritter said if elected to the council, which sets the county’s operating budget, he would rely on his 45 years of budgeting experience, including the past 15 years with Bedford North Lawrence Community Schools and 30 years with Rogers Group in Bloomington.

He said he just has the desire and experience to be a member of the council and wants to give voters a choice on Election Day.

The second race on the ballot at this time involves the District 1 commissioner seat presently held by Republican Jerry Hounshel. The candidates are David D. Martindale of Brownstown and Drew Markel of Seymour. Hounshel has said he will not be running on the Republican ballot.

The third race features three Republicans vying for the District 2 commissioner seat presently held by Republican Tom Joray. The Seymour resident is facing challenges from Bob Gillaspy and Donald M. Schnitker, also both of Seymour. Democrat Bradley D. Smith of Brownstown also is seeking that seat.

The final race on the ballot at this time is for county treasurer, an office presently held by Republican Maria Fisher of Norman. She is facing a challenge from Roger Hurt of Brownstown.

The filing period ends at noon Friday.

At a glance

County residents interested in filing for one of the 10 countywide offices up for election this year have until noon Friday to file paperwork with the clerk’s office in the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown.

For information, call the clerk’s office at 812-358-6116.

County positions up for election in the May 3 primary include:

  • County commissioner District 1
  • County commissioner District 2
  • County council at-large (three seats)
  • County treasurer
  • County auditor
  • County surveyor
  • County coroner
  • Jackson Superior Court II judge
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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.