Five candidates don’t have to sweat it because they are unopposed in the Nov. 5 Batesville municipal election, according to clerk’s offices in Ripley and Franklin counties.
The city races are a bit less competitive than four years ago, when just two city council candidates were shoo-ins: Democrat Darrick Cox in District 1 and Republican Jim Fritsch in District 3.
Cox is lucky because his seat is uncontested again, while Fritsch will face Democrat Andrew Cambron.
Three Republican incumbents also do not have opposition: Mayor Michael Bettice, Clerk-Treasurer Paul Gates and District 2 council member Tracy Rohlfing.
Voters have choices to make for two other council seats: at large, Republican Bill Flannery or Democrat Pamela Simpson-Flodder; and District 4, Republican John Irrgang or Democrat Paul Satchwill.
Two attorneys are taking turns with one office. In 2015, incumbent Democratic city Judge John Kellerman II was challenged by Republican Kristen Weiler. She won and has served four years, but is not on the upcoming ballot. Kellerman is.
Six positions are up for grabs in Laurel, says Franklin County Clerk’s Office first deputy Ruth Rowlett.
Vying for clerk-treasurer are Democrat Linda Adams, Republican Tonja French and Independent Jennifer Harris.
Six residents are campaigning for five at large town board seats: Republicans Gus Adams, Garold Bulmer, Peter Connolly, Rebecca Jones and Ryan Trent; and Democrat Mary Jones.
Current Oldenburg, Cedar Grove and Mount Carmel office holders don’t have opposition so those clerk-treasurers and council members will serve four-year terms starting Jan. 1 in accordance with state law, according to Rowlett.
No one has filed to be the Mount Carmel clerk-treasurer. Kevin Hood, who is the council president there, also is serving as acting clerk-treasurer.
Only Republicans went after Sunman positions, so a party convention took place Aug. 14.
Newbies triumphed over two incumbents that night. Cheryl Taylor will be the next clerk-treasurer after defeating Janet Jenner.
The three top vote-getters for town council at large seats were Marilyn Decker, Carol Eckstein and incumbent Don Foley. The fourth candidate was Harvey Dobson.
“Of course, there will be no municipal General Election in Sunman due to the fact that there is no Democratic opposition. The newly-elected members will assume their new roles on Jan. 1, 2020,” according to Ripley County election deputy Diane Macek.
Milan and Versailles have aligned their voting with county elections by having them on even years, she notes.
“Milan started its voting with the county last year,” Macek reports. So that there are staggered terms, two council members will be elected on one ballot, then one council member and the clerk-treasurer two years later.
“Versailles will be doing the same thing beginning next year” so that there will never be a time all council members are new. “This year there was no opposition so they’ll just continue on” and serve a fifth year, Macek explains.
Current Napoleon seats are not contested so those incumbents also will serve four-year terms starting Jan. 1.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-717-3113.