BY DENNIS BARTLOW
COVINGTON, Ind. — The tops of the national and state tickets are carrying the most interest in western Indiana this year. There are few races on the county level.
“We have been very busy,” said Jessica Woodrow, a deputy in the Fountain County clerk’s office. “We have had quite a few (absentee) voters.”
Woodrow said it is definitely not the local races that are bringing in the voters.
Probably the top races in the three counties in western Indiana are the two state representative races, where a new representative is guaranteed.
In District 13, which includes most of Fountain and Warren counties, Republican Sharon Negele, the Attica city clerk-treasurer, and Democrat Mark Straw, a Warren County farmer and Purdue University employee, are seeking the seat for District 13. It stretches north to include all or parts of Benton, Newton, Jasper, White, Tippecanoe and Montgomery counties.
Negele lost two years ago to longtime state Rep. F. Dale Grubb, D-Covington, in District 42. Grubb chose not to run again after redistricting left him with only Troy, Wabash and Fulton townships in Fountain County and Mound Township in Warren County.
In the new Indiana House District 42, Democrat Mark Spelbring, who recently retired as extension educator in Parke County, is facing Republican Alan Morrison, a Rose-Hulman employee.
The only Fountain County race is for the three at-large county council seats. Current councilmen Democrat Tom Booe and Republicans Joe Whittington and Dudley Cruea are being challenged by Republican Billy Glover and Democrat Thomas Golia.
Vermillion County Clerk Florinda Pruitt said absentee voting is running about the same as 2008.
“We have had a good turnout so far,” she said.
Vermillion County voters will choose a coroner between Republican Matt Fitzhum and Democrat Roger P. Lewis.
Longtime commissioner Harry Crossley, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Greg Meyer.
Debbie Hiatt, Warren County clerk, said she has had 393 walk-in voters so far, compared to 478 in 2008. Warren County has no races on the local level.
There are school board races in the Attica, Covington, North Vermillion and Southeast Fountain districts.
Absentee voting will continue in Indiana until noon EST Monday. The regular polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Tuesday.