Filing deadline May 15 for August elections

OSCEOLA COUNTY – Residents in Osceola County have six days left to file to run for a county office in the August primary.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, the Osceola County Clerk’s office will no longer accept ballot entry submissions for partison candidates running for the offices of prosecutor, sheriff, clerk, register of deeds, treasurer, drain comissioner, county surveyor, seven county commissioner seats and two seats on the county road commission board. Non-partisan candidates must register by July 19 for inclusion on the November ballot.

Already filed to be on the August ballot, as of last week, running for Osceola County prosecutor are James Sims II and Tyler Thompson. Running for Osceola County sheriff so far are Dave Fowler and James Crawford.

Current county officials; Karen Bluhm, clerk, Nancy Crawford, register of deeds and Lori Leudeman, treasurer, currently are uncontested, but there is still time for additional candidates.

Current commissioners from districts 3 and 7, Ronald Sikkema and Larry Emig have filed for re-election. Marion resident Matt Keller has filed to run for district 4 commissioner, a seat which is currently held by Alan Tiedt, and Hersey resident Pamela Wayne has filed to run for district 6 commissioner, a seat currently filled by board chairman Dave Brooks. As of last week, the incumbants had not yet filed.

Osceola County clerk Karen Bluhm said a change in individuals who serve on the board of commissioners has pros and cons.

“You lose some of the continuity and knowledge of how the system works,” Bluhm said, “but sometimes change is a good thing.”

Some individuals enter the race for a county office with the goal of changing how things are done in the county, but Bluhm said sometimes achieving those goals are not plausible.

“Legally sometimes you can’t do things differently,” Bluhm said. “I don’t think anybody coming right in has all the knowledge they need. It takes a while to get used to how the system works.”

Though the official election will take place in November, Bluhm said the primary election in August may decide the winner in many of the contested races.

“When everybody runs in the same party, which a lot of people in Osceola County do, the August primary (election) is pretty important,” Bluhm said.