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 Carthage to Choose GOP Slate Thursday

August 15, 2007 - Although the election is still nearly three months away, Republicans in Carthage will have an opportunity Thursday night to select five of the six candidates for town council that will appear on the November 6 ballot.

Persons eligible to vote in tomorrow's Republican town convention at the Ripley Twp. Community Center in Carthage will be presented with a slate of 10 candidates vying for their party's nomination. From that list, voters will select the five who will run in this fall's election for the council's five at-large seats. Five of the Republicans seeking their party's nod are currently incumbents on the council: President Rick Bush; Vice President Wanda Henderson; Jane Kirchner; Bill Armstrong; and Rob Cooper. The other five challengers include current Town Marshal Mike Onkst, former council member Joe Whitfield, Kathleen Heim, Harry Bostrom and Doris Wyatt.

John McCane, chairman of the Rush County Republican Party, told The Banner that before voting takes place, each of the 10 candidates, or someone acting on their behalf, will be allowed to speak up to five minutes in support of their candidacy. He said Carthage resident Sandra Jackson will serve as the convention's chairperson.

Under the convention's rules, which McCane said would be officially adopted once the convention gets underway Thursday, voting will be done by paper ballots. Because securing a nomination requires each candidate to receive a majority of the vote, McCane said the selection process will take multiple votes to choose the final five. The process will be speeded up, however, by a rule that removes the candidate getting the fewest votes from subsequent consideration.

The five Republican candidates chosen during tomorrow's convention will appear on the November 6 ballot, along with the lone Democrat, incumbent council member Tim Wehr. With only the one challenge coming from outside their party, Republicans taking part in tomorrow's town convention are assured that at least four of the candidates they select will take office when new terms begin January 1.

Carthage Clerk-Treasurer Linda McMahan was not challenged by any fellow Republicans, so her office will not be the focus of any votes taken at the town convention. McMahan will, however, face a challenge on the November 6 ballot from Democrat Abbie Wehr.

While people still have until October 9 to register to vote in the November 6 election, McCane said Republicans wanting to take part in tomorrow's town convention must already be registered to vote. He recommended that voters bring a photo ID with them if they have one.

The Ripley Twp. Community Center is located on the northeast corner of Mill and Main streets in Carthage. Doors are expected to open, according to McCane, sometime between 5-5:30 p.m., with the convention beginning at 6 p.m.


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