Local candidates, issues filed for May election

By Mac Cordell

February 6, 2014

While the statewide elections are getting top billing, Madison County voters will have local candidates and issues in the May 6, primary election.

Republican Richard Dunkle, from London, filed a petition Wednesday, Feb. 5 the last day to file, to run for Juvenile/Probate Court Judge. He joins Republican Chris Brown, of West Jefferson, in the primary race to replace Judge Glenn S. Hamilton.

Democrat Ronald Roach, of London, has filed to run against Republican incumbent Dave Dhume, also of London, for commissioner.

Neither candidate is opposed for the position within their party and so there will be no primary competition.

Partisan voters will also cast ballots for several central committee seats. Democrats Linda Manning and Frank Slagle have filed for the Union Township seat on the central committee.

Gladys Griffith and Stephen Saltsman have each filed to fill the London Ward 4 seat on the Republican Central Committee.

Voters in the Jonathan Alder, Jefferson Local, Madison-Plains and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village school districts will also be asked to cast ballots.

Jefferson Local School District is seeking a 1-percent income tax, for five years, to cover current expenses.

Jonathan Alder School District is asking voters to approve a 0.5-percent income tax for seven years to cover current expenses.

Madison-Plains School District is requesting the renewal of an 8-mills property tax as a permanent tax to cover current operating expenses.

Mechanicsburg is also seeking a renewal, it’s the renewal of a 1.96-mills levy, for 10 years, to provide for the emergency requirements of the school district.

Tim Ward, director of the Madison County Board of Elections, said just because a candidate has filed for election does not mean they will actually appear on the ballot.

“The first thing we need to do is certify all of the candidates,” said Ward.

He explained the board will open the petitions, review and verify signatures and determine if the paperwork is completed correctly. Ward said the board will meet later this month to certify the candidates and issues.

“Then we will begin the ballot preparation and take it from there,” said Ward.

He said the board is working to secure poll workers, now called precinct election officials. Ward said letters have gone out to previous volunteers “to see if they are still interested in working.”

“We have sent those out and we are starting to get those back,” said Ward.

Mark Erbaugh, deputy director of the Madison County Board of Elections, said he would love to need top turn workers away. He said he needs about 100 workers and hopes to have 25 alternates.

“I definitely still need poll workers,” said Erbaugh. “My biggest need is for people to step up and be presiding judges.”

Presiding judges must belong to the party that particular precinct supported for governor in the last election. Of Madison County’s 27 precincts, 26 need Republican presiding judges. Only London Ward 3 voted for the Democrat.

Precinct election officials are paid around $110. Presiding judges are paid more. Individuals do not need to work in the precinct they live in.

And if individuals want to help?

“The easiest thing would probably be just to call me,” said Erbaugh, who can be reached at the board of elections office, (740) 852-9424.

Other than the need for precinct officials, Ward said the election is proceeding well.

“We’ve done this enough times, it is a breeze for us,” said Ward. “We’ve got an entire calendar put together as to what we have to get done and when. As long as we keep up with that, we are in good shape.”

Madison County residents who want to vote must be registered by April 7. The first day to vote is April 1. Residents may check to verify they are registered by calling the board of elections or going to the board website and clicking the “Am I Registered” link.

Mac Cordell can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 21 or via Twitter @MacCordell.