- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—GREENSBURG — Local voters will get to choose among two candidates for Greensburg mayor — but three city council candidates already have won their election before the first ballot is even cast.

Meanwhile, in Decatur County towns, only one of 16 “races” is contested — with town councils in New Point and St. Paul not seeing any candidates so far.

This year Indiana cities and towns will hold elections for leadership positions including mayor, clerk-treasurer and councils.

Decatur County did not have a primary election this year, because no opposing candidates had declared their intention to seek public office. The General Election will be on Nov. 3.

The ballot for Greensburg has been set, but candidates for the 16 town offices can still file until noon on Aug. 3.

The marquee race in the city election will involve incumbent Republican Mayor Gary Herbert, a former GECOM supervisor and city council member, trying to secure a third term against Democratic challenger Dan Manus, a former fire chief and son of former Mayor Frank Manus.

Incumbent Republican Clerk-Treasurer Bridgett Weber will try to defend her position against Democrat Ashlee Green, while incumbent Democrat Glenn Tebbe will try to hold on to his at-large seat on the city council against Republican challenger Darren Covington.

Republican Kevin Fleetwood and Democrat Ken Dornich will vie to succeed District 1 Councilman Terry Wagner, who is not seeking re-election.

Three other city council races are uncontested: Incumbent District 3 Councilman Jamie Cain and his District 4 colleague Darrell Poling, both Republicans, have no opposition and will successfully defend their seats. Republican Councilman Blake O’Mara, who represents District 2, also is not seeking re-election, and will be succeeded by newcomer Vietta McKenzie, who will get a seat on the council without a Primary or General Election challenge.

Town elections

In Decatur County’s four towns with elections — Millhousen, New Point, St. Paul and Westport — only the position of clerk-treasurer in Westport has a candidate from both major parties.

Republican Ronda Bartlett and Democrat Loretta Pyles Biddinger will compete to succeed current Clerk-Treasurer Sylvia England, who, at age 68, is retiring after five years on the council and 15 years in the Decatur County auditor’s office.

For Westport’s town council, only one of three incumbents, Independent Bryan Gatewood, is seeking re-election so far, along with newcomer Richard Smith, a Republican. Town Councils in Decatur County have three seats each, based on population.

Officials in some of Decatur County’s towns have said that paper work, a statewide push to make government smaller and small towns’ fiscal constraints are keeping some people from seeking public office. And the size of the towns, too, makes it difficult to find willing and qualified candidates. The largest of the four towns, Westport, has about 1,400 residents, but the smallest, Millhousen, has barely more than 100.

Millhousen has one candidate for clerk-treasurer, incumbent Democrat Marilyn Horan. It has just two candidates for the three town council seats: Incumbent Democrat Robert Witkemper and incumbent Republican Jay Schoettmer.

New Point, with a population of about 350, has one candidate for clerk-treasurer, Democrat Marilyn Horan, but none for the three council positions.

St. Paul, population just above 1,000, also has only one candidate for clerk-treasurer, incumbent Republican Melissa Coulter, but none for the three council positions.

If not enough people file for town positions, the current office holders will be held over until they resign, in which case the political party of the former office holder designates a replacement.

Contact: Boris Ladwig 812-663-3111 x7401; [email protected]

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(c)2015 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.)

Visit the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.) at www.greensburgdailynews.com

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