GOSHEN — The new year has arrived, and with it comes the promise of campaign signs in the yard, vigorous handshaking and impassioned stump speeches as election year 2014 gets underway.
With a new election season now upon us, the Elkhart County Election Board has announced it will begin accepting major party declarations for the 2014 primary election beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The deadline to file a declaration of candidacy is noon Feb. 7.
According to Chief Deputy Clerk Christopher Anderson, all filings must take place in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, which is located in the Elkhart County Courthouse in Goshen. Anderson noted that the clerk’s office is located within a secure building, and anyone entering will be required to pass through security.
“A candidate’s voter registration record must be current at the time of filing,” Anderson said. “All candidates for local and school board offices are now required, by state law, to also file a Statement of Economic Interests at the same time that a declaration of candidacy is filed.”
Anderson noted that the Statement of Economic Interests, also known as a CAN-12, can be obtained from either the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office during business hours, or they can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website, www.in.gov/sos/elections/, under the “candidate information” line, then “candidate forms.”
The clerk’s office is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
“If a declaration of candidacy is submitted without the Statement of Economic Interests form, the declaration will be rejected,” Anderson said, adding that the CAN-12 documents do require notarization.
A list of local offices, including current office holders, to be included on the 2014 primary election ballot are as follows:
• Clerk of the Elkhart Circuit Court (Wendy Hudson)
• Elkhart County Auditor (Pauline Graff)
• Elkhart County Recorder (Jerry Weaver)
• Elkhart County Sheriff (Brad Rogers)
• Elkhart County Assessor (Cathy Searcy)
• Elkhart County Commissioner — District 1 (Frank Lucchese)
• Elkhart County Council — Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 (respectively, Dave Foutz, Randall Yohn, Darryl Riegsecker and Dave Hess)
• Concord Township Assessor (Kristin Rowe)
• Township Trustee — all townships
• Township Board — all townships
• Democratic Precinct Committeeman
• Republican State Convention Delegate
• Democratic State Convention Delegate
• Bristol Town Council At-Large, two seats (Ronald Norman and Cathy Burke)
• Wakarusa Town Council At-Large, two seats (Mark BeMiller and Joyce McDowell)
Candidates for the following offices are required to file at the state level:
• U.S. Representative (Congress) — District 2 (Jackie Walorski)
• State Senator — District 11 (Joe Zakas)
• State Representative — Districts 21, 22, 48, 49 and 82 (respectively, Tim Wesco, Rebecca Kubacki, Tim Neese, Wes Culver and David Ober)
• Judge of Elkhart Superior Courts 1, 3, 4 and 5 (respectively, Evan Roberts, George Biddlecome, Olga Stickel and Charles Wicks)
• Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney (Curtis Hill)
The following offices are not nominated at a primary election. They are nominated at convention before placement on the general election ballot:
• Secretary of State
• Auditor of State
• Treasurer of State
• Middlebury town offices
As a side note, Anderson indicated that all school board offices are now elected at the general election. As such, the filing period for school board candidates is July 23 through noon Aug. 22. The following school board offices will be on the 2014 general election ballot Nov. 4:
• Baugo Community School Board — District 2 and At-Large
• Concord Community School Board — District 1 and District 2
• Elkhart Community School Board — District B and At-Large
• Fairfield Community School Board — District II and At-Large
• Goshen Community School Board — District 1, District 3 and At-Large
• Middlebury Community School Board — District A, District C and District D
• Wa-Nee Community School Board — Harrison, Locke and Union townships.
While it’s still very early in the filing process, one man who finished a close second in the 2012 Democratic primary in northern Indiana’s 2nd District U.S. House race has already announced he plans to run again.
Dan Morrison, Elkhart, officially announced in late December 2013 he will run for the seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski. Morrison won many areas of the district during the 2012 primary, but lost to Brendan Mullen because of a poor showing in St. Joseph County.
Mullen already has announced he doesn’t plan to run. Joe Bock, a faculty member in Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination.
Morrison is a former RV salesman and small business owner who recently retired from Comcast to focus on the campaign.