Four and a half more days remain next week for anyone to file as a candidate in the May 3 primaries for county and state offices. The deadline is noon Friday, Feb. 4.
Based on primary filings so far, for the general election in November there are just a few holes—races for which no candidate for either party has yet declared a candidacy. Those include the trustee races for Bean Blossom, Salt Creek and Washington townships.
For county offices, no contested primaries on the Republican side have yet emerged. For the Democrats there are now four contested primaries—for judge, recorder, sheriff, and county commissioner.
For the general election in November, it looks like voters will be able to choose a Republican for at least five of the township trustee spots.
Voters will also be able to choose a Republican for two of the four county council seats (James Allen and Marty Hawk), sheriff (Nathan Robinson), recorder (Paul White), and county commissioner (Perry Robinson).
Although he has not yet filed the paperwork, Republican Carl Lamb reportedly intends to stand as a candidate for the spot on the circuit court bench where Democrat Stephen Galvin now serves.
Galvin is not seeking re-election, which means Democrats who want to serve as a Monroe County circuit court judge don’t need to challenge an incumbent in a primary this year. Four candidates for that spot have filed their declarations of candidacy: April Wilson, Allison Chopra, Emily Salzmann, Karen Wrenbeck.
Also contested in the Democratic Party’s primary are the races for sheriff, recorder, and county commissioner. Like the primary for circuit court judge, the races for sheriff and recorder on the Democratic Party’s side don’t feature an incumbent.
Current sheriff Brad Swain, a Democrat, is term limited for that office. But Swain will appear on the ballot contesting the District 62 state representative primary with Penny Githens. So far, Democrats have three candidates to choose from as their nominee for county sheriff: Ruben Marté; Troy Thomas; and Angie Purdie.
Also term limited, as recorder, is Democrat Eric Schmitz. As their nominee for recorder, Democrats have a choice so far between Ashley Cranor and Amy Swain. The two Swains, Brad and Amy, who will appear on the ballot for different offices, are married.
So far, the one incumbent Democrat in county office who is being challenged in the May 3 primary is county commissioner Lee Jones. Filing his declaration of candidacy for county commissioner this past Friday was Dominic Thompson.
One potential story that has emerged on the state level is the number of contested Republican Party primary races for a seat in the state house of representatives. At last week’s local League of Women Voters legislative update, state representative Matt Pierce, a Democrat, said some of the early buzz for this session of the state legislature was about the number of Republican incumbents who face primary challenges.
Pierce said that had primary challenges had an effect on the kinds of bills being considered this session: prohibitions against COVID-19 vaccine mandates; constraints on emergency health orders; and regulations on the teaching of critical race theory, among others. These are issues that resonate with the conservative base of Republican representatives, Pierce said, and Republican incumbents who face primary challenges want to be able to point to their work in those areas.
By the B Square’s count, so far this year there are 27 contested Republican primary races for state representative. That includes all contested primaries, even where the incumbent is not running. In 2020, there were 19 contested Republican primaries for state representative, based on The B Square’s count of filings by the deadline that year.