By J SYWGART
The deadline for candidates of the two major political parties to announce their intentions for 2012 election slots in Adams County came and went at noon on Friday. The passing of that deadline assured that no fewer than six inner-party contests will be decided during the May 8 primary election.
Contested races are assured within the Republican party for three at-large seats on the Adams County Council, as well as races for county recorder, county auditor, county commissioner and county treasurer. Democrats will also have choices to make in the primary election, with four announced candidates seeking three county council seats.
The final day of filing revealed one candidate who has crossed party lines to seek county office. Thomas Krueckeberg, who previously held office as a Democrat member of the Adams County Council, filed his petition of candidacy Friday as a Republican candidate for county treasurer.
According to County Clerk Gayla Reinhart, Indiana Code requires crossover candidates to submit a signed letter from the county's party chairman in support of such candidacies. Adams County GOP Chairman Rob Noetzel did submit the required paperwork, calling Krueckeberg a "member of the party in good standing."
Krueckeberg will square off against Republican Ed Dyer in the May primary.
The passing of Friday's deadline also assured at least one new member of the Adams County Council will take office in 2013. Incumbent Republican Kenyon Sprunger did not file for re-election, a move that was widely expected.
Nine candidates — four Democrats and five Republicans — did file for the three at-large council seats, setting up primary runoffs in each party. Republicans seeking the nod include incumbents Randy Colclasure and Dennis Bluhm and newcomers Rob Noetzel, Tony Mellencamp and Pat Norton.
Democrats seeking a council seat include Robert Thomas, John Minch, Judy Affolder and Dennis Hain.
A GOP primary will also be necessary for the office of county recorder, with Jim Voglewede, Deb Stimpson and Jerry Walker all seeking the party nod. The winner of that primary contest will square off in November against Democrat Marcy Koons.
A primary runoff between Mary Beery and Wes Kuntzman will determine the GOP's candidate for county auditor. A similar primary will be required for the District 1 seat on the board of county commissioners, with incumbent Kim Fruechte challenged by fellow Republican Steve Baumann.
Running unopposed to date are Democrat Kristopher Burkhart and Republican Leslie Cook for county coroner; Democrat Frederick Schurger and Republican Chad Kukelhan for circuit court judge; Republican Doug Bauman for the District 3 seat on the board of county commissioners; Republican William Warren for Geneva clerk-treasurer; and Richard Clutter for the Geneva District 1 town council seat.
Reinhart said July 2 is the deadline for independent and minor party candidates to file petitions of candidacy. The county Republican and Democratic parties have until June 30 to make appointments to fill vacancies within their respective parties.