Ballot taking shape for elections

The Republican ballot for the May 3 primary election will feature at least one countywide race thanks to the recent filing of a Brownstown man.

Roger Hurt’s decision to run for county treasurer sets up a battle with incumbent Maria Fisher of Norman.

Both Hurt and Fisher recently filed declarations of candidacy with the Jackson County Clerk’s Office at the courthouse in Brownstown.

Hurt said he feels the treasurer’s office has the most interaction with the public, and it needs to be more professional and have some personality for those reasons.

“That is one area that is very lacking,” he said. “That is the one office where someone has to take off his time for work, come in and use the same checkbook he pays for groceries out of and then pay his taxes.”

Hurt said he knows it’s going to be a challenge to beat the incumbent, but that’s a task he’s prepare to do.

“I’m going to give it 180 percent,” he said. “Most of the people in the county know me. I will be getting out and shaking hands and kissing babies if that’s what it takes.”

Fisher, who is finishing up the fourth year of her first term, could not be reached for comment Monday. Fisher also is a former county auditor.

At this time, those voting a Republican ballot in the primary also will be asked to choose between District 69 state Rep. Jim Lucas of Seymour and Nancy Franke, also of Seymour. Lucas is wrapping up his second term representing the district that includes parts of Bartholomew, Jackson, Jefferson and Jennings counties.

Other countywide offices up for election this year include commissioners for Districts 1 and 2; three at-large county council seats; Jackson Superior Court II judge; surveyor; coroner; and auditor.

One race has been in place for the Nov. 8 general election with the early filings. That race is for the county commissioner District 2 seat presently held by Republican Tom Joray, who has yet to declare his intentions. Democrat Brad Smith of Seymour and Republican Bob Gillaspy have already filed declarations of candidacy with the potential for more contestants.

Smith said Monday he has been looking into running for quite some time and thinks taxpayers aren’t getting everything they can for their money, especially when it comes to the condition of roads.

“I think I can improve the leadership,” Smith said.

Other earlier filings include Republican newcomer Drew Markel of Seymour, who is seeking the county commissioner District 1 seat presently held by Republican Jerry Hounshel of Vallonia; incumbent auditor Kathy Hohenstreiter, a Seymour Republican who is asking voters to return her to office; Democrat Andy Rumph of Seymour, who is running for coroner; and Brownstown Republican Dan Blann, who is seeking a second term as surveyor.

Candidates have until noon Feb. 5 to file a declaration of candidacy with the clerk’s office.