The field for candidates hoping to become the next mayor of Seymour grew to three Wednesday.
Democrat Rexanne Ude, 61, of Seymour filed her declaration of candidacy for the seat presently held by Republican Craig Luedeman, who is in the last year of his third four-year term. He announced in November that he does not intend to run for a fourth term.
Ude, a political newcomer, is the first Democrat to join the race.
Republicans Bridey Jacobi, 43, and Matt Nicholson, 41, both tossed their hats into the ring early in the filing period, which began Jan. 9 and ends at noon Feb. 8.
Jacobi recently completed a four-year term as a member of the Jackson County Council. She most recently served as council president. Nicholson presently is wrapping up his first term as a city councilman.
Ude, who works as director of development for Schneck Medical Center, plans to retire from that position in 2020. Her job duties also include being the executive director of the Schneck Foundation.
She said she joined the race after many people approached her to see if she would be interested. It got her to start praying and thinking.
“It was not necessarily something that I pursued but something where someone thought I should pursue it. Then that someone turned into multiple people,” she said. “I think I do bring the skills necessary in terms of business, servant leadership, community involvement and guiding collaborative efforts.”
By entering the race, there will be a contested general election in the fall for the office for first time since 2007 when Luedeman faced Democrat John Burkhart.
Luedeman was unopposed during re-election bids in 2011 and 2015.
Ude, who is the sister of independent Councilman David Earley, said she would focus on issues involving public safety, mental health, youth, education and more.
“I think along those obvious things, you have to build on the successes over the last 10 to 12 years but be prepared to identify opportunities that come before us,” she said. “I have experience with nonprofits but also have a lot of business experience. Running a city is like running a business.”
The race now includes more women than men for the office. A woman has never served as mayor, which is something Ude hasn’t given too much thought.
“To me, it’s not a factor, but it is important when we can break through the norms like that, but I don’t think it’s important in the role as mayor,” she said.
Also in the city, Jerry Hackney, the Republican appointed last year to fill Brian D’Arco’s former seat, filed for re-election for the District 2 council seat. Others filing for re-election are Democrat J.J. Reinhart for District 1 and Republican Jim Rebber for District 4.
Several other candidates have filed for office in one of the county’s other three municipalities since the period opened Jan. 9.
Republican Sonya Nale, a political newcomer, filed for Brownstown clerk-treasurer, and incumbent Democrat Betty Campbell filed as clerk-treasurer for Medora.
Three candidates also have filed for Crothersville Town Council seats: Democrats Kyle McIntosh and Geoffrey Walker and Republican Danieta Foster.
Republican Jim Davers is seeking re-election to the Medora Town Council.
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Who has filed for office so far
Brandon Kyle McIntosh
Town council at-large
Betty M. Campbell
Bridey Grant Jacobi
Matthew R. Nicholson
Seymour City Council District 1
John J. Reinhart
Seymour City Council District 2
Seymour City Council District 4
James W. Rebber