COLUMBIA CITY — Many Republican candidates are throwing their hats in the ring for the upcoming primary election in May.

This year’s election focuses on county government, and as of Monday afternoon, multiple candidates had filed for a highly contested county council seat.

Five names are on the ballot — James Bayman, of Columbia City; Thor Hodges, of Columbia City; Kelly Sheiss, of Columbia City; Damien Stafford, of Columbia City; and Joan Western, of Columbia City.

The District 1 County Commissioner spot will also be contested. Chad Banks is running against incumbent Thomas Western. The district includes Etna-Troy, Richland and Cleveland townships.

Theresa Green is running for District 3 County Commissioner, which includes Smith, Union and Jefferson townships.

Kay Gatton is running for county treasurer; Scott Smith is running for count coroner and Dane Drew is running for county surveyor.

As of Monday afternoon, no Democrats were on the ballot.

This year’s primary election is May 5. The last day to register to vote is April 6.

The general election is Nov. 3.

Candidates may submit a candidacy announcement and photo for publication to Editor Nicole Minier at

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