2 announce plans to run as independent

Six candidates have filed paperwork so far to become Richmond’s mayor, but four of those candidates are being challenged.

Wayne County Republican Party Chair Gary Saunders has filed a challenge regarding the ability of David Carpenter, David Flannery, Kevin Fox and Shawn O’Conner to run for mayor as Republicans.

Saunders said he is following Indiana state code, and that the four men did not meet the requirements to file as Republicans since they had not voted for the same party in the past two primary elections.

“They make laws for a reason,” Saunders said about state officials.

Saunders said county political chairs can choose to allow candidates to run even if they don’t meet the requirements if they find extenuating circumstances. In these cases Saunders said he needed to challenge all of those applications.

“If they’re really interested in running for office, it seems to me they would have been interested to vote,” Saunders said.

Saunders said he consulted several members of the Republican Party to get their perspectives, and they felt Saunders should challenge the four candidacies.

After filing the challenges, Sanders said he called all four men to let them know.

“Out of respect to them, I felt I should do that,” Saunders said.

Saunders’ challenges are sent to the county election board for consideration. The board includes a Republican, a Democrat, and county Clerk Debbie Berry, who can break a tie.

Saunders said neither the Republican nor Democrat parties back candidates in the primary election, pick a slate, or get involved in individual campaigns. Instead, candidates are on their own until winners are elected in May. Then, they run as a group under the party umbrella.

Tara Pegg, who works in Wayne County’s voter registration office that oversees candidate filings, confirmed Friday that Carpenter and Fox both withdrew Thursday from the race.

Carpenter told Western Wayne News that he intends to re-file as an independent, and Fox has created a Facebook page announcing his plans to run as an independent as well.

Hoosiers can file to run as independents or minor party candidates by June 30 for the fall election.

Because of the filing changes, there are currently no primary challengers to the mayoral candidacy of Republican Ron Oler, a current at-large member of Richmond Common Council, or incumbent Mayor Dave Snow, a Democrat. Filing ends at noon on Feb. 3.

Council/clerk filings

New: Centerville Clerk-Treasurer Richard K. Tincher filed to run in his first election for that role. He was appointed in September 2021 after the previous clerk resigned. Towns do not have primary elections, and only conduct party conventions if needed to narrow the field before the general election. If no one then faces an opponent, no general election is conducted.

Richmond Common Council District 1 incumbent Doug Goss, a Democrat, also filed.

Previous: Incumbent Richmond Clerk Karen Chasteen (Democrat); council at-large, Jane Bumbalough and Jerry Purcell (Republican), with three seats available; council District 4, Larry Parker (Republican); council District 5, Jeff Locke (Democrat); council District 6, Gary Turner (Republican).

Filing deadlines for local offices

Those who want to run for Richmond mayor, common council or clerk need to file by noon Feb. 3 to get on the ballot for the May primary.

Candidates for town council and clerk-treasurer in Cambridge City, Centerville, Dublin, Fountain City, East Germantown and Milton must file by noon Aug. 1.

Those who want to vote must register by April 3 for the primary and Oct. 10 for the fall.

For more information, call 765-973-9226 or email voters@co.wayne.in.us.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.