The field for the 2020 elections is being set as incumbents and a few challengers have already filed to run.
Monday was the first day to file and the last day will be Jan. 25.
In Mercer County, key positions on the ballot include prosecuting attorney, sheriff, county commissioner, all five magistrates, assessor, one school board member and all three seats in the 27th District House race.
Several incumbents for local office and three candidates for the 27th District House have filed as of close of business on Wednesday.
Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler will seek another term.
Sitler, a Republican, has worked in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office since Jan. 1, 2005, elected to his current position in 2016.
“I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made to improve services to crime victims in our county,” he said. “During my term, we’ve secured over $250,000.00 in federal grant funding for additional child abuse prosecutors, investigators and victim advocates. My office has brought 30 serious felony cases to trial, obtaining the most severe penalties available under our laws.”
Sitler said his office has “also worked with our law enforcement agencies and school administrators to improve security in Mercer County Schools. I have worked with our local legislators to sponsor legislation to increase the penalties for crimes resulting to injuries to children, distracted driving, and methamphetamine distribution.”
"I have tried more child abuse, sexual assault and murder cases than any attorney currently practicing in our county, and want to continue serving Mercer County’s citizens in the pursuit of justice,“ he said.
Sheriff Tommy Bailey, a Republican, was also elected in 2016 and will run again.
“I what to keep building on what my chief deputy (Joe Parks) and I have done in my first term,” he said. “We have brought the sheriff’s office up to date. We are working on getting body cameras for all of the deputies and I still want to have substations out in the county.”
Bailey said he also looking to hire more deputies.
Greg Puckett, also a Republican, holds the only county commission seat on the ballot this year and has also filed to run for reelection.
“It’s with a humble heart and a gracious soul that I’m officially announcing my candidacy for a second term as County Commissioner,” he said. “Over the past five years, there have been ecstatic highs and emotional lows. As Commissioner, I have learned a great deal, and I feel that there are, without a doubt, challenges that exist within our community. Many we can address and some we cannot. There have been struggles and there have been successes.”
Puckett said, though, the “foundation that has been laid over the past five years has put Mercer County into a place of investment, opportunity and hope. With your help, and your vote, I feel confident that we can continue moving our county forward over the next few years.”
According to the registrar’s office, all incumbent magistrates have filed, including Mike Flanigan, District 1; Susan Honaker, District 2; Sandra Dorsey, District 3; Charles Poe, District 4; and William Holroyd, District 5.
Keith Compton has filed as a candidate for magistrate for District 3 in the non-partisan race.
Incumbent Assessor Sharon Gearhart, a Democrat, as well as incumbent Mercer County School Board member Paul Hodges also have filed. School board races are non-partisan.
Former Del. Marty Gearheart, a Republican, has filed for a seat representing the 27th District, which will have all three seats up for grabs.
Tina Russell, a Democrat, also has filed for one of the three seats.
Del. John Shott is not running for reelection. The other two seats are held by Del. Dr. Joe Ellington and Eric Porterfield, both Republicans. Ellington has already filed to run again.
State Sen. Chandler Swope (R-6th District) also has filed for reelection.
Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com.