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April 26, 2016 • Headline News
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Full slate of local candidates helps
Strong turnout expected for May 3 Primary

Mary Mattingly

Who would have thought last fall that Indiana would be such a key player in the U.S. Presidential race? The May 3 primary is one of the last state primaries in the country, and usually by then the nomination is locked up by both parties. That’s not the case this year. While Donald Trump has won more delegates than the other two contenders, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the billionaire businessman needs Indiana and California to have the majority 1,237 delegate votes to cinch the nomination at the national convention in July. It’s a rare opportunity for Indiana voters to have a say in the presidential election cycle.

Vote May 3Trump has been in Indiana campaigning, and Cruz has also. On Monday, in a play to keep Trump from winning more delegates, Kasich said he will step back to let Cruz bid for voters who don’t like Trump, and Cruz will do the same for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico. On the democratic side, Bernie Sanders has launched TV ads in an effort to beat front-runner Hillary Clinton and capture Indiana. The latest polls show Clinton as a favorite in Indiana but not by much. A slim margin is also reported for the Republican candidates. Fox News poll put Trump in the lead with 41 percent to Cruz’s 33 percent and Kasich at 16 percent. Who this county will choose is not clear.

State Rep. Randy Frye, a Republican running unopposed for his fourth term, has been out in the public a lot and among party members but said he can’t predict the election. “I’ve seen folks who like both Cruz and Trump,” he noted. Ginger Bradford, the Republican county chair, commented that while campaigning for county office, the interest seems to be in Trump. She’s been asked for signs, and few have brought up the other contenders, she said last week. Some polls show that Trump can’t beat Clinton, that Kasich has a better chance.

Gerald and Rose Gauck of Milan, Republicans who were at 6th district US Congressman Luke Messer’s campaign stop in Versailles Friday, don’t like how the party has been divided over these three candidates. “I think it will split the vote and Democrats will get in,’ Gerald Gauck commented. But they think whomever gets the majority vote of Indiana should get the support of the party. Ron Horn of Versailles, a conservative, admits Trump isn’t politically correct, but that’s also what people like about him. “He tells it like it is,” he said.

Nonetheless, the attention on Indiana’s election will undoubtedly stir more people to vote one week from today, on May 3. Ripley County’s primary has all six offices contested for the Republican party nomination, which is unusual in itself and likely to draw a bigger turnout. There are six running for the three at-large council seats, two for commissioner seat on district 2 and two for commissioner district 3, four for coroner and recorder, two for treasurer and two for clerk.

“It is unusual to have so many running for an office. We’ve seen it with the sheriff’s office before and maybe a few council races,” Mary Ann McCoy, county clerk, said. “It could create interest.” Ginger Bradford agreed it’s not common to have this many running in the Primary. “I think it’s the first time that’s happened since I’ve been chairman,” she said, adding, “It’s an open field and good to see more involved.”

On the other side of the ballot, the Democrats have little choice. At this point, the only Democrat on the ballot is Bill Dramann, a former sheriff who is up for a council seat. He is not contested. Vickie DeDee Holliday is another Democrat running unopposed for Osgood council. Democrats have until July to appoint a candidate for the fall election. David Chandler, the Democratic party chair for the county, acknowledged while a lot of people have ideas on how to run things, “No one is knocking down doors to run in Ripley County for the Democrats.” The county has been a strong Republican hot-bed for some time now, he said. One of the problems is getting younger people interested in serving locally, he said and he thinks the polarization in Washington and in Indiana have contributed to the uninvolved mindset. The local Democrat party will wait to see who wins the county nomination for various offices to fill the democratic ballot, according to Chandler. Chandler believes the presidential race will draw more voters, both Democrats and Republicans, in the county and statewide, as it has in the past. In 2012, the last presidential race, the county turnout in the May Primary was 20.18 percent, and in 2008 (when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were battling for the nomination), 33.2 percent. The fall election turnout in 2012 was 53 percent, and in 2008, 58 percent.
There was no county-wide election in 2015, only a Batesville municipal election with a Primary. In 2014, with a full slate of sheriff candidates the turnout was 20.4 percent.

Other races
Most are interested in the presidential race, but there are some other contested US Congress races Ripley County voters will help choose. There is a contested primary for a US Senator seat since Sen. Dan Coats is not running again. Rep. Todd Young and Rep. Marlin Stutzman are both vying for the seat, and have been campaigning vigorously. A familiar name to many, Baron Hill is running unopposed for the US senate seat for the Democrats. Republicans will also select the 6th district US representative between Luke Messer, Chuck Johnson and Jeff Smith while Democrats have Barry Welsh, Danny Basham, Bruce Peavler, Ralph Spelbring and George Holland. State senate and representative races are unopposed. Incumbents State Sen. Jean Leising, district 42, Rep. Cindy Ziemke, district 55, and Rep. Randy Frye, district 67, will be on the ballot.

Early voting is up
Many people are voting early in Ripley County. As of Friday, 284 had already voted or requested an absentee ballot. McCoy noted, “That number goes up daily.” She said that’s higher than other years and she expects 800 to 900 people to vote before the May 3 Primary. The deadline to request an absentee application was April 25, and the latest you can vote in person in the office is noon Monday, May 2. The 25 precincts in Ripley County will be open Tuesday, May 3 at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Photo IDs are required to vote. If you’re not sure where to vote, go online at or call 812-689-6115.

Local Bulletin Board

Deadline: April 30, 2016
Tarter-Crum trusts applications accepted
Applications for donations from the Frank Tarter Community Trust and the Ray Herman and Louise Herman Crum Community Trust may be submitted by tax exempt organizations from the Osgood and the surrounding area. Due to IRS regulations, only non-profit organizations are eligible to receive funds from the trust. For more details read the front page of the Osgood Journal dated April 12.

Deadline: May 3
Cross Plains Community grant requests
The Cross Plains Community Granting Committee will meet Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Cross Plains Methodist Church to review grant requests. The meeting is open to the public. Any non profit organization including cemetaries within the Cross Plains zip code can request a grant from the Cross Plains Community Granting Fund, which is an endowment fund with the Ripley Co. Community Foundation. See more information on the front page of the Osgood Journal dated April 12.

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