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Hancock County News

Republicans to dominate Hancock Co. primary ballot

When it comes to the May primary, only Republicans will have a voice in who will represent them in Hancock County.


The filing period for the primary season came and went Friday with no Democrats or Independents registering. The Libertarian Party will select its candidates at their upcoming convention, should there be any.

As for the Republican Party, fields for county commissioners, county council, superior court judge and coroner all will be crowded.

When it comes to County Commissioners, incumbent John Jessup will face a challenge in District 1 from current county councilwoman Jeannie Gray. Jessup has served since 2016, while Gray was elected to county council in 2017.

In District 3, two new candidates will look to replace Brad Armstrong, who is not running for re-election, as Bill Spalding and Matt Holland both will be on the ballot. Both have run for office before, as Spalding ran for commissioner in 2012, while Holland ran in 2016. Ironically, both serve in law enforcement as Spalding works for the Indiana State Police as a trooper, while Holland works for the Greenfield Police Department.

When it comes to county council, a crowded field will look to fill three at-large seats and that voting is open to everyone in the county.

Kent Fisk is the lone incumbent running, and will be joined by former Greenfield City Councilwoman Keely Butrum, former auditor Robin Lowder, former county attorney Ray Richardson and newcomer Kirk Jocham.

When it comes to Superior Court Judge, Marie Castetter, who was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, will be facing a challenge from Jessica Lacy, D.J. Davis and Cody Combs. Of the candidates, Davis previously ran for elected office, falling to Scott Sirk for circuit court judge in 2018.

The county coroner race features incumbent David Stillinger facing a challenge from Joe Fortner, who works for Hancock Regional Hospital as the emergency medical services coordinator.