Day 1 for candidate filings in Monroe County: Some Hoosier Democrats, Republicans make it official

Publicly announced intentions and exploratory committees are one thing. Official candidate filings are another.

Wednesday was the first day when it was possible to declare an official candidacy for one of the state or county public offices up for election in 2022.

Election Central, at 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington, was not exactly teeming with candidate filing activity through the day on Wednesday.

But by 4 p.m. when the building closed, a dozen and a half candidates had made their way through the doors to the building and on to the registration office, which was marked with signage indicating only “one person at a time” should enter.

Filings on the first day meant that only one race in Monroe County is so far guaranteed to be contested in the November general election—the District 1 seat on the county council. The council the fiscal body for county government.

Filing on the Republican side for the county council District 1 seat was James Allen, whose news release describes him as a retired Bloomington Township firefighter. Allen ran unsuccessfully for an at-large county council seat in 2020.

Filing for the Democrats was incumbent District 1 county councilor Peter Iversen. He is associate director of development for Indiana University’s School of Public Health. This will be Iversen’s first campaign—he was caucused into a spot on the council after now state senator Shelli Yoder resigned from the council due to a change of residency.

By the time the filing window closes, at noon on Feb. 4, it’s expected that a few more races will be set up to be contested in November.

One of those will be the county commissioner District 1 race. Republican Perry Robinson filed his paperwork Wednesday morning. Robinson’s news release describes him as a union electrician for two decades. The incumbent county commissioner is Lee Jones.

On Wednesday, no Democrat filed as a candidate for the District 1 commissioner race. Of the three county commissioner seats, only the District 1 seat is up for election in 2022.

The third Republican to file a declaration as a candidate for county office on Wednesday was Nathan Williamson, who is running for sheriff.

Williamson is a sergeant with the Monroe County sheriff’s office. Democrat Ruben Marté has filed his paperwork to establish an exploratory committee to be a candidate for sheriff, but did not submit a candidate filing on Wednesday. Marté is a captain with the Indiana State Police.

Incumbent sheriff Democrat Brad Swain, is term-limited and cannot run again for sheriff. On Wednesday, Swain announced that he’s running for state house representative to represent District 62. That will set up a Democratic Party primary race between at least Swain and Penny Githens, who announced her candidacy last year on Oct. 31. On the Republican side, Dave Hall has announced for state house District 62.

Allen, Robinson, and Williamson arrived in a group around mid-morning at Election Central, along with newly elected GOP county chair Taylor Bryant, and other supporters.

Appearing at Election Central to file her candidate declaration when the building opened at 8 a.m. was the incumbent county clerk, Democrat Nicole Browne. The timestamp on her paperwork says 8:01 a.m. Incumbent assessor, Democrat Judy Sharp, submitted her candidate filing a bit after 8 a.m.

Towards noon, Democrat Efrat Feferman filed her paperwork as a candidate for the Bloomington Township trustee position. Feferman is CEO of the United Way of Monroe County. Incumbent Democrat Kim Alexander is not seeking re-election as Bloomington Township trustee.

In early afternoon, incumbent Benton Township trustee Democrat Michelle Bright filed her paperwork for re-election.

It was towards mid-afternoon when Iversen filed his paperwork for re-election to the District 1 county council seat.

Iversen was joined by Jennifer Crossley, who was caucused into the District 4 county council seat a few weeks ago, after Eric Spoonmore resigned. It was not any surprise that Crossley is now running to keep the seat—she said in her statement to the caucus that she would be looking to win support from voters to keep serving beyond the end of 2022, when the term ends.

Also appearing at Election Central around the same time as Iversen and Crossley on Wednesday was Democrat Allison Chopra, who is running for Monroe County circuit court judge. Chopra is now chief deputy prosecuting attorney for Lawrence County. Bloomington residents will likely recognize Chopra as the District 3 representative on the city council from 2016 through 2019.

It’s the retiring Democrat Stephen Galvin’s seat on the bench (Division 7, Seat 7) that Chopra is seeking. Based on the preliminary paperwork they filed last year, April Wilson and Emily Salzmann will also seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for judge.

On the Republican side, Carl Lamb is expected to run for Galvin’s seat.

Through the filing period, which ends at noon on Feb. 4, The B Square will maintain a list of candidate filings that will be updated as soon as new information is available.

The list maintained by The B Square will include links to news releases from candidates.

As more official, comprehensive resource, Indiana’s secretary of state maintains a web page with links to a candidate list.

Another approach to staying up to date on who’s running and who’s not is to check the document repository on the Monroe County website.

First day of candidate filing Jan. 5, 2022 (Election Central, Bloomington)

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