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Primary battles loom, but no one files for prosecutor

Staff writer

This year’s Aug. 6 primary election will decide who fills two county offices — sheriff and register of deeds — and one contested precinct committman race.

However, no one responded by the filing deadline to seek the office of county attorney, where incumbent Joel Ensey seems to be holding out for more money.

Barring any successful write-in campaigns, the Republican primary will decide the register of deeds and sheriff races. Each has two Republican candidates and no Democratic candidates.

Hannah Branson and Shelby Schroeder filed to replace retiring registrar Rebecca Wingfield.

Incumbent Jeff Soyez and challenger Travis Wilson, former Peabody chief of police filed for sheriff.

Candidate fields will be narrowed for two other county offices.

Commissioner districts No. 2 and 3 each have two Republicans and a third candidate. Those races will be narrowed down with one Republican candidate eliminated.

Incumbent chairman David Mueller, unaffiliated, has filed againt in District No. 2. Also filing are former commissioner Dianne Novak and Lincolnville resident Michael Beneke, both Republicans. Beneke defeated Novak in a primary two years ago but lost to Mueller in the general.

Incumbent Randy Dallke and Clarke Dirke, both Republicans, have filed for District No. 3. Democrat Randall Eitzen also filed.

Incumbent county attorney Joel Ensey tried last month to get county commissioners to raise his salary from $75,000 a year to $118,000 a year. Commissioners agreed only to a raise it to between $94,750 to $98,568 a year.

He now has until Aug. 5 — the day before the primary — to file an affidavit of write-in candidacy if he hopes to be re-elected to the position.

A new state law permits election officials to ignore write-in votes unless an affidavit of write-in candidacy was filed, election clerk Michelle Looper said

If Ensey doesn’t file an affidavit of write-in candidacy and votes for him are not counted, or if he is elected on counted write-in votes but declines re-election, a temporary county attorney would be appointed either by the Republican Party or by the 8th Judicial District.

Ensey did not respond to repeated email and phone messages asking whether he intends to seek re-election.

Incumbent county clerk Ashley Herpich, appointed in January after Tina Spencer was hired as county administrator, and treasurer Tina Groening, appointed in November after Susan Berg died, have both filed to retain their positions. They are unopposed.

Burns city council will have a contested race, although it will not be decided in the primary. Five people are running for three positions.

They are incumbent Rehea Huls and challengers David Pearson, Dawn Hacker, Zeb Hatfield, and Bill Needham.

Other city offices have the same number of candidates as positions to be filled.

They are Jeffrey Jogenson for Hillsboro Ward 1, Byron McCarty for Hillsboro Ward 2, Carl Gehrke for Ramona mayor, and Mark Lockhart and Paul Tucker for Ramona city council.

One Republican committeeman race will be contested. Both Robert Brookens and Gen e Winkler will run for Marion South.

Would-be voters have until 5 p.m. July 15 to register to vote.

General election will be Nov. 5.

Last modified June 5, 2024

 

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