I saved a group of races for last when it comes to discussing 2014, and that's the races in the townships. While there will be some new faces in new places, I don't expect wholesale change in the townships as far as party structure, but I do want to highlight just a couple of races worth highlighting.
As the returns come in, I'll be watching the races in Wayne Township. Historically, these have been very close, and you have a Republican in the Trustee's seat there. Andy Harris has done a good job as Trustee and is well-liked in the community, but he's being challenged by an excellent candidate in Renee Pack. Pack
has run a very strong campaign by concentrating more on the social services side of what the Trustee provides. It's a good strategy, but Harris is very popular. I think it's anyone's race between two people I'm proud to call my friends.
The other Wayne Township races feature Gerald Coleman, the Democratic challenger, against GOP incumbent Danny Vaughn for Small Claims Court Judge. Constable Bill Newman, the lone Democrat to survive the 2010 election in Wayne Township gets a rematch with Republican Alan Driver. Wayne always is interesting, so we'll see if it keeps the status quo or not.
In Perry Township, there's a full slate on both sides of the aisle, and Democrats should be proud to have some choices. Jerry Melvin, Amanda Whipple, and Michael Dunigan have stepped forward to run for Trustee, Small Claims Court Judge, and Constable. Perry Township is notable because there is actually one Democrat on the Township Advisory Board. Dems could not field full slates in the other two Southside townships. The only other Democrat on a southern-tier township ballot is Raymond Kennedy, and he's challenging longtime GOP incumbent, Steve Rink, in Decatur Township.
Everyone, get out and vote tomorrow. You may not feel like it's important or that this election season is like the others, but it is. Remember, all politics is local. If for nothing else, vote for those folks who will have the most say in what happens in your community.
To all candidates, Republican, Democratic, or Libertarian, thank you for stepping forward and putting yourself out there.