Only 1 candidate filed for primary

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 5, 2014

With just one month left to file for the May 2014 primary, voters may only have to make a decision in one race and whether that happens is unknown right now.

Candidates have until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5 to turn their petitions into the board of elections to get their name on the ballot for the May 6 primary. As of Friday morning only Lawrence County Commissioner Freddie Hayes had filed to run. This will be Hayes’ second race and his first to seek a full four-year term.

In 2012 Hayes ran for the unexpired term of County Commissioner Paul Herrell, who died in February 2012. Hayes was appointed in the spring to fill that vacancy by the Republican Central Committee. To finish out the two years left on Herrell’s term, Hayes had to run in the November general election.

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He narrowly beat former county commissioner Doug Malone by a little more than 1 percent of the vote, primarily coming from eastern end precincts.

Right now no one else has picked up a petition to run against Hayes. The other two seats, held by Commission President Bill Pratt and Commissioner Les Boggs, will not be up until 2016.

Other county seats up in 2014 are the County Auditor, Juvenile/Probate Judge and a Common Pleas Judge. Incumbents for those three offices — Jason Stephens, David Payne and D. Scott Bowling — have picked up petitions but have not filed. All three are currently unopposed.

This will be Stephens second time to run as county auditor, beating County Treasurer Stephen Burcham in 2010. Prior to running for auditor, Stephens had spent 10 years serving on county commission.

Payne was appointed to the bench in October 1993 upon the death of Judge Dennis Boll. He ran for that unexpired term in 1994 and for his first full six-year term in 1996. He has served a total of 20 years.

Bowling was appointed to the common pleas bench in 2007 following the death of Frank McCown. He ran for his first term in 2008, serving six years. This will be his second election.

The only possible contested race could be a rematch between incumbent Ryan Smith, a Republican, and challenger Josh Bailey, a Democrat, for the 93rd State Representative seat. The two men first met in 2012 when Smith, of Gallia County, beat Bailey, of Jackson, with 64 percent of the vote overall.

The 93rd District takes in Gallia and Jackson counties, part of Vinton County and the eastern part of Lawrence County. In Lawrence County Smith took 58 percent of the vote. Both men have picked up petitions, but neither one has filed. Filing for this race must be done in Lawrence County since it is the most populated county in the district.