Chesterton Tribune



Deadline near to apply to fill ballot vacancies, minor party deadline looms

Back To Front Page



Citizens interested in running for office can still get on the ballot for the November local election.

Per Indiana Code, Michael Simpson and Jeffrey Chidester, Porter County’s respective Republican and Democrat party chairs, have until Sunday, June 30 to directly appoint eligible citizens to fill ballot vacancies in local races. All the proper paperwork must be filed with the Porter County Clerk’s office by Wednesday, July 3.

Libertarian ballot vacancies are filled by town conventions hosted by the state Libertarian committee, and have the same deadline, according to the 2019 Indiana Candidate Guide.

There is only one contested race in Duneland at the moment--incumbent Chesterton Clerk-treasurer Stephanie Kuziela (R) is facing Democrat challenger Courtney Udvare. The Chesterton Tribune checked in with the party chairs to see if any Duneland ballot vacancies have been filled ahead of the deadline.

Chidester said he may have found someone to run against incumbent Chesterton Town Council member Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd, pending approval of paperwork, though he hasn’t gotten a lot of interest from citizens who want to be appointed to fill Democrat ballot vacancies.

Chidester said those interested are still welcome to call his cell phone, (219)712-8081. “I’ll look at their voting record and talk to them to make sure they’re competent to do the job,” Chidester said.

Chidester noted that some Portage and Valpo residents have expressed interest in running as independents or as minor party candidates. Such candidates are required to file a petition of nomination with a certain number of signatures from registered voters who reside in the district the candidate seeks to represent.

“Anyone that’s gonna do that, I would encourage them to get more signatures than they need because some people who sign might not be registered,” Chidester said.

Simpson reported he hasn’t found anyone to fill Republican ballot vacancies in Duneland: “It’s quite a process, interviewing and talking to people and gauging their interest.”

Simpson is also still willing to hear from interested citizens. “We’re still welcoming people who want to come to the table,” he said. “It’s always an open process. We’re always willing to talk.”

Any Porter County Republicans interested in being appointed to fill a ballot vacancy should email Simpson at

Minor Parties/Small Towns

Meanwhile, minor party candidates and independents should be in the process of gathering petition signatures.

Minor Party and Independent candidates must file a Petition of Nomination and obtain the signatures of a certain number of registered voters in the district where they are seeking office. That number is equal to 2% of the number of votes cast for Secretary of State in the respective district in the 2018 general election. This number is decided by the County Clerk’s Office, per Indiana Code.

Petitions are due July 1 to the Voter Registration office, where staff will check each signer’s registration status and residency. Petitions certified by Voter Registration are due to the Clerk’s Office July 15, according to Becky Rauch, deputy clerk in the Clerk’s Office elections division.

Rauch said major party candidates in Dune Acres, Beverly Shores, and Town of Pines may file for candidacy until Aug. 1, since those Towns have decided by resolution not to hold primary elections.

As of the Feb. 8 filing deadline for major party candidates, only four candidates, all Democrats, had filed to compete for five at-large seats on the Beverly Shores Town Council.

Who’s Eligible?

To be eligible to fill a ballot vacancy, citizens must meet the requirements to run for office in the State of Indiana and all requirements specific to the office sought. A resident of Chesterton or Porter wishing to fill a ballot vacancy for Town Council must live in the respective voting ward he or she is seeking to represent. Beverly Shores and Burns Harbor do not have voting wards, so candidates may live in any part of Town. Candidates for clerk-treasurer may also live in any part of Town.

Candidates must be registered to vote in the district they seek to represent and must have lived in the district at a primary residence for at least one year prior to the general election.

A candidate for office may be an employee of the same government unit he or she is running to represent, but must resign if elected. Candidates may be employed by one local government unit and be an elected officeholder in another.

Citizens who have been convicted of a felony or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony charge (or a felony charge that was later reduced to a Class A Misdemeanor) may not run for local office, per Indiana Code.

General information on running for office can be found in the 2019 Indiana Candidate Guide. The Guide, and all candidate filing forms, can be found at

SOS: Candidate Information



Posted 6/27/2019




Search This Site:

Custom Search