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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, September 12, 2019 1:00 am

Elections in Grabill, Woodburn canceled

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Voters who would normally cast ballots in November's municipal elections in Grabill or Woodburn won't have to.

The elections have been canceled.

The Allen County Election Board unanimously voted Wednesday to approve requests from officials in the two small communities that they not be required to hold elections in November because everyone on the ballot is unopposed.

It's also too late for party appointees, independents or even potential write-in candidates to mount a contest, Director of Elections Beth Dlug told the three-person board.

In Grabill, Republicans Cynthia (Cindy) L. Barhydt, clerk-treasurer, and Town Council members Wilmer Delagrange and Jeffrey D. Smead will retain their positions. All serve four-year terms.

In Woodburn, Mayor Joseph F. Kelsey, Clerk-Treasurer Timothy J. Cummins and Town Council members Michael (Mike) Voirol, Michael Martin, John Renner, Dean A. Gerig and Daniel Watts will serve another four years. All are Republicans.

Dlug said although it may seem odd to voters, not having an election can save communities at least $3,000 in taxpayer money.

In other business, the Democratic candidate for city clerk in Fort Wayne, Katharine (Katie) Zuber, was assessed a $625 penalty for failing to file a supplemental campaign finance report after she received a late $1,000 contribution from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry's campaign committee.

The penalty of $25 a day was for filing 25 dates late. If she were an officeholder, she would have been assessed $1,000.

“It was a rookie mistake,” Zuber, a first-time candidate, told the board.

Board members were sympathetic, but even fellow Democratic board member Tim Pape said it had been policy to assess penalties. 

Pape said “we had a couple of long-time candidates as well” who also failed to file timely reports.

“You are not alone,” added Republican Tim Hardin, board chairman.

Other late filers were Darren Peterson, Democratic candidate for mayor of New Haven; Christopher Childers, independent candidate for town council in Leo-Cedarville; and Democrats Jessica Hannie (District 1) and Frank Sickles (District 3), candidates for New Haven City Council.

Hannie was not assessed a penalty because her campaign had a zero balance. The rest were assessed a $25 penalty.

rsalter@jg.net