Democrats, Republicans fill out general election ballot


The Jackson County Democratic and Republican parties selected candidates earlier this summer to fill vacancies on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Jackson County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jeanette Hackman appointed candidates, while the Jackson County Republican Party conducted a caucus to address its vacancies.

Most notably was the caucus to select Jeff Chalfant as the party’s nominee for Jackson County prosecutor.

The vacancy on the ballot was created when Prosecutor AmyMarie Travis was picked by Gov. Eric Holcomb as Jackson County Superior Court I judge following Judge Bruce Markel III’s retirement May 31. Republicans also removed Travis from the ballot for that office during the caucus.

Chalfant, who was Travis’ chief deputy, became prosecutor by state statute when she was appointed judge. He will retain the job for the next four years because the Democrats did not field a candidate for the primary for that position or didn’t fill that ballot vacancy prior to the June 30 deadline.

Chalfant said he was honored to be the party’s nominee for prosecutor.

“I love being prosecutor,” he said. “It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done, and it gets harder every year.”

Chalfant said many think a prosecutor simply tries to “lock people up,” and while that’s part of their job, there’s much more to it.

Prosecutors are in a different position because attorneys take an oath to be loyal to their clients, but prosecutors are in the position to consider all parties involved, he said.

“We are not to just be advocates for the state, but seek a balance to decide what’s fair,” Chalfant said. “I just can’t ethically file every case and say, ‘It’s my job’ because I’m supposed to balance it out.”

He said prosecutors must consider what’s best for the victim, defendant and Jackson County.

Republican precinct committeemen also selected Jessica Carpenter Payne and Brett Sciarra as candidates for the Jackson Township Board and Mark Adams as the candidate for Redding Township trustee.

The race for the Jackson Township Board will pit Republicans Payne, Sciarra and Larry Sunbury against Democrat Alicia Colglazier and Libertarian Erin Meadors. The three who finish with the most votes will serve.

Adams will face incumbent Democrat Conrad Calmer for Redding Township trustee.

Hackman appointed Democrat Kathy Schafstall of Seymour as the party’s candidate for Jackson County clerk and Gary Hackman of Vallonia as a candidate for Driftwood Township Board.

The party, however, has ballot vacancies for the countywide offices of assessor, a seat presently held by Republican Katie Kaufman; District 3 county commissioner, held by Republican Matt Reedy; and Jackson Circuit Court judge, which currently is held by Republican Richard W. Poynter.

Schafstall’s appointment sets up a race for Jackson County clerk. She will face Republican Melissa Hayes, who was unopposed in the May 8 primary.

Voters will select one to succeed Clerk Amanda Lowery, who is seeking office as Jackson County recorder. The clerk’s office is limited to two terms.

Schafstall, who works as grounds supervisor at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, said she tossed her name in the ring because of her desire to serve.

“I’ve always wanted to be in county government,” she said.

Schafstall last appeared on the 2016 ballot in an unsuccessful bid for county council.

“I just thought this was a good time to try again,” she said. “I’m hardworking, dependable and very dedicated.”

Watch for more election coverage in The Tribune later this fall.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

The 2018 ballot for county offices:

Jackson County clerk

Kathy Schafstall (D)

Melissa Elkins Hayes (R)

Jackson County assessor

Katie Kaufman (R)

Jackson County Commissioners, District 3

Matt Reedy (R)

Jackson County Council, District 1

Catherine “Cathy” Stuckwisch (D)

Michael Davidson (R)

Jackson County Council, District 2

Barry Stuckwisch (D)

Mark Hackman (R)

Jackson County Council, District 3

Mary Voss Burgmeier (D)

Brian H. Thompson (R)

Jackson County Council, District 4

Mandy Ward (D)

Kari Luedeman Storey (R)

Jackson County recorder

Clifford L. Sommers (D)

Amanda Cunningham Lowery (R)

Jackson County sheriff

Jeffrey Walters (D)

Rick Meyer (R)

Jackson Circuit Court judge

Richard W. Poynter (R)

Jackson County prosecutor

Jeff Chalfant (R)


No posts to display