When May Primary time arrives, all participating voters will receive a non-partisan ballot which lists candidates for the Board of Education and Western Conservation District Supervisor. Registered Democrats and Registered Republicans will also receive a ballot listing their party’s candidates. Unaffiliated voters may choose to vote either the Democratic Party ballot or the Republican Party ballot.
There is little reason for unaffiliated voters to choose a Democrat ballot. Not a single Democrat filed for County Commission, Circuit Clerk or County Clerk. The Assessor, Sheriff, and Prosecuting Attorney are not on any ballot. Candidates for these offices must wait until 2024 to file.
The Republican ballot will list four candidates for Circuit Clerk, four candidates for County Commission, and one candidate for County Clerk. All candidates for Circuit Clerk made their interest known on or before January 10, the first day in candidates may file. Mike Reynolds, Stephanie Smith and Donald Underwood made their interest known when they filed pre-candidacy papers last year. Michael Thompson made his interest known on January 10. There were no last minute Circuit Clerk filings.
There will be four candidates for County Commission listed on the Republican ballot. Ron Foster of Winfield, Todd Dillon of Scott Depot, and Steve Deweese of Buffalo made their interest known last fall when they filed pre-candidacy papers. The fourth candidate, Edward Absten of Eleanor, did not fill pre-candidacy papers. Absten did not make his interest publically known until January 29, the last day upon which a candidate could file.
Incumbent County Clerk Brian Wood also waited until the last day to file. Wood was the only candidate to file for County Clerk. Wood’s filing was expected. The only surprise was his wait to the very last day.
The non-partisan ballot will feature five candidates, three will be elected to four year terms beginning on July 1st. If the filing period had ended on January 27, the non-partisan ballot would have listed just two names — Rob Cunningham and Neal Wade. Both would have been elected. No third candidate (one residing within the bounds of the 3rd Magisterial District [Hurricane and south of Hurricane areas]) could have been elected. An individual residing in the 3rd District would be appointed to the Board by the Board which was seated on July 1st.
There will be no 3rd District vacancy following the May election because Melissa Oxley filed on January 28 and Brad Hodges on the last day, January 29. Hodges’ Certificate of Announcement was signed and notarized on January 20th but not delivered to the County Clerk’s office until after Oxley had filed for the Board. Hodges’ Certificate was not mailed to the Clerk’s office; it was hand delivered to the courthouse by a third party on the last day of filing.
Rosalee Juba-Plumley also filed for the Board of Education on the last day. Juba-Plumley and Wade Neal both reside in Magisterial District 2. Only one can be elected from District 2.
The reason for late filings is known only to late filers and their confidants.
A complete list of filings with the County Clerk’s office and a list of House of Delegate and State Senate filings of candidates who will present Putnam County follows:
County Commission —
Ron Foster (R), Todd Dillon (R), Steve Deweese (R), Edward Absten (R).
Circuit Clerk —
Mike Reynolds (R), Stephanie Smith (R), Donald Underwood (R), Michael Thompson (R).
County Clerk — Brian Wood (R).
Non-Partisan Board of Education —
(Magisterial District 1) Rob Cunningham;
(Magisterial District 2) Wade Neal, Rosalee Juba-Plumley;
(Magisterial District 3) Melissa Oxley, Brad Hodges.
Western Conservation District Supervisor —
Democratic Executive Committe (Female) —
(1st Magisterial) Sharon Bowles, Karen Coria;
(2nd Magisterial) Marcia Duran, Rosalee Juba-Plumley
Democratic Executive Committe (Male) —
(1st Magisterial) Ben Barkey;
(2nd Magisterial) Maxie Bailey
Democratic Congressional Committee (Female) —
Democratic Senatorial District 4 (Female) —
Republican Executive Committee (Female) —
(1st Magisterial) Kris Raynes, Shirley Searls;
(3rd Magisterial) Linda Hartling, Jill Turner, Jessica Hodge
Republican Executive Committee (Male) —
(1st Magisterial) Ronald Stone, Jesse Lovejoy;
(2nd Magisterial) Mark Higginbotham;
(3rd Magisterial) Paul Hartling, Caleb Turner, Tony Hodge
Republican Congressional Committee (Female) —
(1st Magisterial) Kris Raynes, Cindy Farley
Republican Senatorial District 4 (Female) —
Republican Senatorial District 8 (Female) —
Republican Senatorial District 4 (Male) —
Secretary of State Filings
State Senate —
4th Senatorial District: Eric Tarr (R);
8th Senatorial District: Joshua Higginbotham (R), Mark Hunt (R), Andrea Kiessling (R), Richard Lindsay (D), Mark Michem (R)
House of Delegates —
18th District: Jim Butler (R), Johnnie Wamsley (R);
19th District: Kathie Hess Crouse (R), Seth King (D), Jesse Lovejoy (R), Josh Martin (D), Nick Withrow (R);
20th District: Geoff Foster (R), Jacob Losh (R);
21st District: Jarred Cannon (R), Theresa “Tess” Jackson (D), Michael Kidd (R), Brenden D. Long (R).