By Nicole Minier
WHITLEY COUNTY — The May 8 primary election is just around the corner, with several contested races and one important decision for Churubusco.
Smith Township, as well as Green Township in Noble County, have a referendum on the ballot that, if approved, would increase funding at Smith-Green Community Schools. The public question is as follows:
“For the eight calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall Smith-Green Community Schools impose a property tax rate that does not exceed $0.628 on each $100 of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding and maintaining current educational and operational programs including student safety and transportation and any other educational and operational needs of the school corporation?”
Although 17-year-old Churubusco-area residents can vote in the primary election for candidates who appear on the General Election ballot, 17-year-olds may not cast a vote regarding the referendum.
Those voting in the Whitley County Democratic primary don’t have many choices to make, with only one contested position — the U.S. Rep. for District 3. On the ballot are John Roberson, Tommy Schrader and Courtney Tritch.
On the other hand, the Republican primary ballot has several contested races.
In the office of Circuit Court Clerk, Cindy Doolittle and Debbie Fairchild are running for the position.
For District 2 County Commissioner, Barbara Hohenstein is running against incumbent George Schrumpf.
Timothy Kumfer and James Romano are vying for the County Council District 3 seat.
Chad Nix and Thomas Warner are running for County Council District 4.
Three are running for the Etna Troy Township Trustee seat: Elaine Western, Karen Western and Phyllis Wheeler.
Uncontested Republican races include: Prosecutor, D.J. Sigler; County Assessor, Kimberly Erdly; Sheriff, Marcus Gatton; County Recorder, Rosemary Brown; County Auditor, Jana Schinbeckler; County Council District 1, John Barrett; and County Council District 2, Kim Wheeler.
Jamie Cline is running uncontested in the Democratic primary for County Council District 3.
Township trustee candidates are:
Columbia Township, Michael Myers; Cleveland Township, James Yeager; Jefferson Township, Stephanie Nix; Richland Township, Jennifer Patrick; Smith Township, Patty Amber; Thorncreek Township, Eugene Heckman; Union Township, Mark Roach;
No Republican candidate filed for the Washington Township Trustee position. Kevin Bollinger filed for the position on the Democratic ballot.
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, State Sen. Andy Zay and State Rep. Christopher Judy are all running unopposed in the primary.
In the race for U.S. Senator, candidates include Mike Braun, Luke Messer and Todd Rokita.
In-office absentee voting has begun, and is available on weekdays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 5; and 8 a.m.-noon Monday, May 7. Absentee voting takes place in the election office, located on the second floor of the Whitley County Courthouse. One does not need a reason to vote absentee. Photo ID is required.