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Voters Head to Polls Tuesday to Decide Town Races
October 31, 2007 - When they go to the polls November 6, voters in Knightstown, Carthage and Kennard will have an opportunity to make major changes in the leadership for their respective towns.
In Knightstown, voters will be participating in what is believed to be the town's first election in at least 20 years. A total of seven candidates are vying for the three seats on the five-member town council that are up for election this fall.
Incumbent Republicans representing Wards 1, 3 and 4 - Council Vice President Nate Hamilton, Cort Swincher and Council President David Glenn - are facing respective challenges from independent candidates Clyde South, Robert Webber and Terry Guerin. A Libertarian, Bryan J. Miller, is also vying for the Ward 3 seat.
While only three of the town council's five seats are up for election this year, voting in Knightstown is open to all of the town's registered voters, including those living in wards 2 and 5. While council members are elected from specific geographically-defined wards, all voters in Knightstown get to vote for each town council seat that is up for election, not just the one for the ward where they live.
The positions of Knightstown's clerk-treasurer and town court judge are also up for election this year. However, because no one opted to run against them, current Clerk-Treasurer Judy Haines and Town Court Judge Hayden Butler, the two Republican incumbents, will hold on to their respective jobs and be unopposed on next week's ballot.
As the result of a public referendum voters passed in 2003, the Carthage Town Council will drop from six to five members with this election. There are a total of six candidates vying for the five seats. Four of the council's current incumbents - Republicans Bill Armstrong, Rick Bush and Wanda Henderson, and Democrat Tim Wehr - are seeking reelection. Also in the race are two Republican challengers, Carthage Town Marshal Mike Onkst and Doris Wyatt.
If the lone Carthage Democrat, Wehr, is not reelected, that means the Carthage Town Council will consist of the full slate of five Republican candidates. That will also result in having two members of the town's police department - Onkst and Bush, who has been a deputy with the department for several years - on the council.
In addition to the town council race, Carthage will also feature a clerk-treasurer election November 6. Republican incumbent Linda McMahan is facing a challenge from Democrat Abbie Wehr, wife of council member Tim Wehr.
All three of Kennard's town council seats are up for election this year. Republican Michelle Cleek, the only incumbent seeking reelection, faces challenges from three Democrats, Beth Coy, Robert Bryant and John Ryan.
Kennard's clerk-treasurer's office is also up for election this year. However, Democrat candidate Julie Snyder's only competition came from within her own party - she defeated former Clerk-Treasurer Sue Millis in a town convention this past summer - and she will face no opposition on next week's ballot.
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