ANDERSON – Filing for the May 6 primary began Wednesday with 11 candidates, including four potential sheriff candidates, declaring their candidacy.
The last day to file election paperwork is noon on Feb. 8 at the Madison County Clerk’s Office.
There will also be nominations on the primary ballot for seats on the Pendleton, Ingalls and Lapel town councils and for all township trustee and township board positions.
Four incumbent Republicans were among the first to declare their candidacies for re-election. Darlene Likens will seek a second term as Madison County clerk, Kelly Gaskill as treasurer and Steffanie Owens as South District Madison County commissioner. Linda Smith, who was appointed Madison County recorder, will be seeking her party’s nomination.
The Republican Party currently holds 11 of the 15 positions in Madison County government following the 2010 off-year elections.
The GOP also controls three of the four local seats in the Indiana House and one of the two seats in the Indiana Senate.
The race expected to attract a lot of attention in the May primary is for Madison County sheriff. Ron Richardson, a Democrat, is ineligible to seek a third term. There will be contested primaries for both political parties following the first day of filing.
Bruce Dunham, the current chairman of the Anderson Board of Public Safety and a 24-year member of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, is seeking the GOP nomination for sheriff. Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna filed for the party’s nomination.
On the Democratic Party ballot, Brian Bell, a major on the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, filed for the nomination on Wednesday, joined by former Sheriff Scott Mellinger.
At stake is control of the Madison County Council, which currently has a 4-to-3 Democratic Party majority. Democrats John Bostic and Buddy Patterson are up for re-election along with two Republicans, David McCartney and Rick Gardner.