The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Politics

May 2, 2014

Township races not generating interest

ANDERSON — While some of the races in the May 6 primary are tightly contested with multiple candidates, some races, particularity for township trustee, don't have any interested candidates.

Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, said there are a couple reasons for a lack of interest in the available seats. He said most of the time people are just unaware the spots are open.

"Sometimes you have people who hold on to those positions for years and then retire," Willis said. "But no one realizes they've retired."

There's also a lack of candidates on the Democratic side of the ticket. Democratic Party chairman Ludy Watkins said it is typical for her party not to have as many candidates in primary elections. She said they will have more for the November elections.

She attributes the lack of candidates to a dropping importance being placed on township trustee positions. Those that still feel strongly about the boards already have a seat.

Willis said he's had people contact him after the filing date for candidacy has passed. Many of the people said they were interested, even though it was too late to get on the ballot.

Willis said he anticipates holding a few caucus meetings after the primary election to vote members into the vacant seats. In order to get in, an interested person would need to get approval from the precinct committee members that control their specific townships.

Willis said he doesn't think people realize how important the township trustee positions are. The members are responsible for maintaining cemeteries in the township and helping out any residents who might be in need of financial service.

One trustee race where there is a lot of interest on the GOP side is the Adams Township opening. Four people are vying for the position and only one seat is open. Willis said the battle between Jill Fesler, David Padgett, James Wallace and Sam Weist is the closest one this primary but not very contentious. He said usually township trustee races are fairly calm even when a lot of people are running.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.

Primary election coverage For past articles in this series visit heraldbulletin.com. Look for profiles of candidates in contested races at heraldbulletin.com/politics.

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