News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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January 31, 2014

2014 elections: Last week to file

Primary battles on both sides

TERRE HAUTE — With less than a week remaining for candidates to file, there are a handful of contested races in Vigo County on the Democratic and Republican party ballots for the May 6 primary election.

Among Democrats, contested races include those for Superior Court Division 2 judge, County Assessor and Harrison Township Assessor.

Among Republicans, the only contested race, as of Friday afternoon, was for the District 8 congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon. Bucshon is seeking a third consecutive two-year term on Capitol Hill. He is being challenged by Andrew T. McNeil, a conservative from Freedom, Ind., who may represent a challenge to Bucshon from the incumbent’s right.

Meanwhile, Tom Spangler and William Bryk each declared for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 8th District congressional race. Spangler is a Jasper businessman, and Bryk is an attorney from New York who also appeared on the primary ballot in 2012, although he admitted never visiting the 8th District.

Democratic incumbents facing primary challenges in Vigo County include Debbie Lewis, the county assessor, who is being challenged by Kevin Lyle Gardner, and Democratic County Councilwoman Kathy P. Chalos Miller, who is facing a challenge from Curtis DeBaun IV.

Terre Haute City Councilman Norm Loudermilk, a city firefighter, is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for Harrison Township Assessor in a contested race against Donald E. Pruett. Pruett works as a deputy assessor and field inspector in the Harrison Township Assessor’s office.

Two Democrats are also competing for the Division 2 Judge of Vigo Superior Court. John Kesler II and Lakshmi (Lucky) Reddy both have filed for that post, currently held by Judge Phil Adler, who is not seeking re-election.

Among seats in the Indiana General Assembly, Republican state Sen. John Waterman, a former Sullivan County sheriff, who is seeking a sixth four-year term, is being challenged by Eric Bassler, an elected official in Washington, Ind., financial adviser for Edward Jones and economist.

Many other races in the county on both major party ballots remain uncontested, including Vigo County Sheriff, prosecutor and county commissioner for District 1. In races for the Legislature, incumbents Sen. Tim Skinner, D-38, Rep. Alan Morrison, R-42, Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-43, and Rep. Bob Heaton, R-46, are all, so far, unopposed in their primaries. Democrat Jim Mann is uncontested in the District 46 Democratic primary race.

Anyone wishing to run in the Republican or Democratic party primary must file at the Vigo County Clerk's office in the courthouse by noon Friday.

Indiana conducts a semi-closed primary, meaning voters must choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot before casting their votes.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232.

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