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Hamilton County / Regional News

Hamilton County municipal races getting crowded

February 12, 2019

The field is set for May’s Hamilton County primary election, and more than a dozen races will be contested.

The most-watched races will likely be mayoral races in Noblesville, Fishers and Carmel (Westfield Mayor Andy Cook has no primary challenger), but a handful of city council races also are crowded.

In Noblesville, Republicans Vincent Baker, Mike Corbett, Chris Jensen and Julia Church Kozicki are vying for the Republican nomination to replace four-term Republican Mayor John Ditslear, who will retire this year.

In Fishers, the city’s first mayor, Scott Fadness, is being challenged by Logan Day, a vocal critic of the city’s plan to convert the Nickel Plate Railroad corridor into a recreational trail.

And, in Carmel, six-term Mayor Jim Brainard is being challenged by Fred Glynn, a fiscal conservative in his second term on the Hamilton County Council.

In Hamilton County, races are generally decided in the primary, but more Democrats have been filing to run for office in recent years. The primary will be held May 7.

Here’s a look at contested races in each of the cities:

Carmel

As Carmel upgrades from its status to second-class city in 2020, it will add two new seats to the city council, giving it six district seats and three at-large seats.

In the Central District, incumbent Bruce Kimball, a Republican, is being challenged by Chauncey Bogan.

In the Southeast District, Republicans Adam Aasen and Dave Hommel will square off.

In the Southwest District, incumbent Tony Green is challenged by Republican Matt Milam.

And four Republicans are running for three at-large seats: Incumbents Kevin Rider, Ron Carter and Jeff Worrell (who currently represents the southeast side) and Republican Timothy Hannon.

Incumbents Sue Finkam and Laura Campbell don’t have primary challengers, but two Democrats have filed to run against them in the general election.

Fishers

Current members of the Fishers City Council face their first re-election bid since the town transitioned into a city in 2014.

Two incumbents have Republican foes, and the three at-large incumbents also have a challenger.

In the Northeast District, incumbent Brad DeReamer is being challenged by Tom Grinslade.

In the Southeast District, Paula Hughel has filed to run against incumbent Pete Peterson.

And four Republicans have filed to run for three at-large seats: Incumbents Rich Block, Cecilia Coble and Todd Zimmerman. Gurinder Singh is also running in that race.

Noblesville

In Noblesville, the District 1 and District 2 city council seats are wide open with incumbents Roy Johnson and Chris Jensen not seeking re-election.

In District 1, three Republicans are seeking the party’s nomination: Terry Busby, Mike Davis and Mark Hall. In District 2, Republicans Pete Schwartz and Mark Skipper are running in the primary.

Incumbents facing challengers are Rick Taylor, the District 3 representative, who is being challenged by Brenda Cook and Aaron Smith, and Megan Wiles, the District 6 representative, is opposed by John Partlow.

Meanwhile, five Republicans are running for three at-large seats: Incumbents Brian Ayer, Darren Peterson and Mark Boice, and Brian Landress and Rocky Shanehsaz.

In District 5, incumbent Greg O’Connor has no primary foe. But two Democrats are running to replace him. Gary Bartunek and Jason Myers will face off in the only Democratic primary in Hamilton County this year. The winner faces O’Connor in the fall.

Westfield

In Westfield, Mark Keen isn’t seeking re-election to the District 1 city council seat. Republican Scott Willis is running unopposed in the Republican primary to replace him.

And Steve Hoover, who represents District 2, also isn’t seeking re-election. Two Republicans are running for the party’s nomination to replace Hoover: Bob Beaudry and Jake Gillbert.

Two other city councilors face challenges for their district seats. Bob Horkay has two challengers for his District 5 seat: Jeff Boller and Mike Johns. Charles Lehman is challenged by Scott Frei in the District 4 race.

Three Republicans also are seeking the party’s nomination for two at-large seats: Incumbents Jim Ake and Cindy Spolijaric, and Troy Patton.

Democrats lining up

Although there is only one Democratic primary race this spring, several Democrats have already filed to run in the General Election.

They include Cleaster Davis for Carmel’s Central District; Ti’Gre McNear for Carmel’s Northeast District; William L. Howard III for Carmel’s North District; Miles Nelson for Carmel’s West District; Adam Kaps for Fishers’ Southwest District; Lane Skeeters for Fishers’ South Central District; Jocelyn Vare for Fishers at-large; Jeremy Hawk for Noblesville’s District 6 and Paula Jo Gilliam for Noblesville at-large.

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