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County races begin to form

BY Spencer Durham - sdurham@chronicle-tribune.com

Primary candidates seeking their party’s nod for public office in 2018 began filing across the state Wednesday.

In Grant County, the primary election this year is chock full with plenty of county office seats up for grabs including auditor, sheriff, coroner, assessor, county commissioner, and four county council positions. Each township trustee and township board will be up for a vote as well.

Six Republican candidates filed on Wednesday. They include: Pamela Harris and Karen Wood for county clerk, incumbent county council member Michael Conner is seeking re-election, Charles Armes is seeking a seat on the Mill Township Board, Sheila Metzger is in the primary for Fairmount Trustee and longtime Center Township Trustee, Bryce Coryea is also starting his bid for re-election with the GOP May primary.

According to Darren Reese, Grant County GOP chairman, it’s a good time to be a Republican in the community.

“We’re looking to fill the ballot and we don’t think there will be a problem doing that,” he said.

“We have a lot of support in the party,” he continued, “and a lot of energy in the party.”

The party chairman also said there are plenty of strong Republican candidates who currently hold seats, such as Sheriff Reggie Nevels. Reese said Nevels will lead the county ticket this year for Sheriff.

Democrats, as has been the case in recent county elections, will be working to fill up their primary ballot with candidates, according to Terry Stodghill, the county chairman for the party.

“I hope in another week or two we can get people filed,” he said. “Right now we are still in the works.”

Stodghill said the goal is the same as the Republicans – fill every spot. The chairman said finding people interested in running and putting effort into a campaign can be difficult.

Though there is work to be done searching for good candidates Stodghill said he is is optimistic about his party’s chances.

“‘18 would be a good year to run,” he said.

While Republicans consistently run strong in countywide races, Democrats have recently found more success in municipal elections, including winning the Mayor office in Marion in 2015.

There are also some judicial offices up for grabs, including judge for Superior Court II and county prosecutor.

The prosecuting attorney race has already, unofficially, kicked off with incumbent James Luttrull Jr. and former deputy prosecutor Rodney Faulk both saying they will run in the GOP primary.

The Chronicle-Tribune will provide updates as candidates file for the primary ballots through the noon Feb. 9 deadline. Primary Election Day will be May 8.