The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 1:00 am


Ballot initiative

Start researching now for May 5 votes

The year promises plenty of electoral fireworks, so a quiet primary election might not be a bad thing. A dearth of contested races on both Democratic and Republican ballots shouldn't keep voters away from the polls, however. Prepare now to vote May 5.

The primary election will have a handful of challenges on each ballot, plus an important ballot question for voters who live in the Fort Wayne Community Schools district. The school corporation is seeking approval of a referendum to continue repairs and improvements to its buildings. In the third phase of the FWCS Repair program, taxpayers will be asked to approve $130 million for projects at 33 schools, including major renovations of Wayne High School and Blackhawk and Miami middle schools. The tax rate won't increase, but voter approval is required to maintain it at $0.3028.

Beyond the referendum, the primary election sets up the ballot for Nov. 3, when Hoosiers vote for president, Congress, governor, legislature, and other state and county offices. 

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, faces a primary challenge from Dr. Christopher Magiera, a Warsaw physician. Four Democrats are seeking the nomination for the seat: Chip Coldiron, Jean-Paul B. Kalonji, Carlos Marcano Jr. and perennial candidate Thomas Allan Schrader.

Legislative incumbents facing challenges include Indiana Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, and Justin Busch, R-Fort Wayne. Attorney Glick's challenger in Senate District 13 is Jeffrey Wible, a Wolcottville attorney. Tom Rhoades, chief of police and corporate director of public safety at Parkview Health, is seeking the District 16 seat Busch won in a party caucus after Sen. David Long, R-Fort Wayne, resigned halfway through his term. Busch is district director for U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana.

Two Fort Wayne teachers, Tim Barr and Juli Dominguez, are seeking the Democratic nomination in District 16. 

Contested GOP primary races also are found in House District 18, where Rep. David Wolkins is retiring after 32 years in office. Russell Reahard and Craig Snow are the Republican candidates. Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen, faces a challenge from Bill Dixon of Syracuse in House District 22. Huntington teacher John Stoffel is challenging Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington, in the primary election, and Taylor Isch faces Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne. 

On Allen County ballots, there are no contested primary races for County Council or commissioner. Dr. Jon Brandenberger and Joel Nagel are seeking the Republican nomination for coroner. Dr. Craig Nelson, the incumbent, is barred from running by term limits. Surveyor Jeff Sorg is facing a challenge from David P. Devine in the GOP primary. No Democrats have filed to run for surveyor or coroner.

The May election might offer few races, but the choices are important ones. Register and vote. 

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