Jan. 12 panel discussion offers inside look, tips

Several prior candidates for local offices plan to share what they wish they had known going into their elections, in hopes of helping others.

Hearing about their experiences could influence whether Wayne County residents decide to file for election in 2023.

Most communities have a few races such as council seats and clerk on the ballot.

Purdue Extension and Wayne County Clerk Debbie Berry’s staff are teaming to offer a discussion from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, called “Elected Leadership: Running for Office.”

The free program at the county extension office at Wayne County Fairgrounds, 861 Salisbury Road N., Richmond, is open to the public.

Organizers say those who should attend include anyone interested in running for a local office, supporting a local campaign, or learning more about the process of running.

Berry emphasizes that attendance does not obligate anyone to run for office, and the program is just a casual way to explore what someone must do if they want to be a candidate.

“I know a lot of good people out there who would be good candidates,” Berry said.

No political party will receive preferential treatment during the program. Wayne County’s Republican and Democratic party chairs both have been invited to attend and share how they work with candidates.

Wayne County Voter Registration staff will outline requirements, such as the forms candidates need to file to get on the ballot and campaign finance reports.

Berry notes that campaign laws change every year, so it’s important to have the latest information.

In addition, she said that a lot of people have goals when they run for office, but they don’t realize until after they begin their terms that they must follow state statutes and can’t do everything the way they think is best. Berry hopes this session can educate potential candidates regarding each office’s operations and prevent some of that frustration.

“You have to lobby the legislators – you can’t just change it,” she said about the requirements.

Those interested in running in Richmond’s municipal election can’t wait too long to decide, because the deadline for the May primary is noon Feb. 3.

However, to keep expenses low towns don’t have primaries, so their residents have a little longer to decide if they want to run. Their filing deadline is noon Aug. 1.

If there are multiple candidates of the same party seeking the same office, a town convention must take place before the November election.

If you go

  • What: “Elected Leadership: Running for Office” panel discussion. Organized by Purdue Extension and Wayne County clerk’s office
  • When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12
  • Where: Extension office at Wayne County Fairgrounds, 861 Salisbury Road N., Richmond
  • Cost: Free. Pre-registration is encouraged by Jan. 9, either by calling 765-973-9281 or emailing Extension Educator Elisa Worland at eworland@purdue.edu.
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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.