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Local election qualifying ends

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Blair to run again

By Jim Clark
The ballots for the August primary and the November general election are becoming more clear after qualifying for local elections ended Friday at noon.
The most talked-about race will undoubtedly be for sheriff.
Suspended incumbent Chris Blair, under indictment for perjury, has not been convicted of anything and therefore is eligible to run. He qualified along with Republican challengers Kerry Crawford and Billy Woods. Two Democrats, including Dennis McFatten and former Sheriff Ed Dean, have also qualified, meaning the two primary winners will face off in November.
One constitutional officer, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller David Ellspermann, the incumbent and a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat Cynthia Anne Moody. The election will take place in November.
Other consitutional officers who will automatically be re-elected include Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox, Property Appraiser Villie Smith and Tax Collector George Albright. All are Repubicans.
In the three County Commission races on the ballot, Democrats in Marion County will be shut out of casting a ballot in the primary, because “no party affiliation” candidates and write-in candidates are qualified in all the races, with no Democrats qualifying.
In District 1, incumbent David Moore will face fellow Republican James Daniel Owen. The primary will be closed because of two “no party affiliation” candidate John H. Townsend IV, who will be on the November ballot along with either Moore or Owen. Anyone may vote in November.
In District 3, there is no incumbent because Stan McClain is running for state office. On the primary ballot will be Republicans Roy Abshier, Don Browning, Danielle Damato Doty and Jeff Gold. The winner will be on the ballot in November. The presence of write-in candidates Joe Brown and Richard N. Brown II closed the primary to Democrats, although write-in candidates are not on the ballot in November.
The most crowded field is in District 5, where incumbent Republican Earl Arnett is being challenged by fellow Republicans Anthony James, Russell Matzinger, Brigitte Smith and Michelle Stone. There are two write-in candidates, James Taub and James Dale Touchton, meaning Democrats will not be able to vote for this race in the primary. Democrat Ken Davidson failed to qualify.
Another race where write-in candidates shut out the Democrats is for school superintendent. Incumbent Republican George Tomyn has drawn GOP opposition from Heidi Maier. The two write-in candidates are Pamela J. Archer and Kelly E. Taub.
In the School Board District 1 race, Nancy Stacy has been automatically re-elected without opposition. Challenger Caroline N. Pharmer withdrew because she didn’t live in the correct district.
In the School Board District 2 race, Bill Archibald, Richard Evans and Beth McCall all qualified in the battle to replace Carol Ely, who chose not to run.
School Board races are non-partisan.
In the Soil and Water Conservation District, there will be four candidates for two seats. In District 2, Thomas W. Cartwright will face Richard Markle, and in District 4, Richard McGinley will face Douglas Shearer.
In the Candler Hills East Community Development Board, Elmer Green and Philip Moherek have been elected without opposition.
Jim McCune is unopposed for County Judge.