La PORTE — Nine candidates for public office in La Porte County filed paperwork on Wednesday, the first day of filing ahead of the May 8 primary election.

The initial filings revealed the first competitive primary race – between incumbent Terry Garner of Hanna and Justin Kiel of LaCrosse, two Republicans running for County Council in District 1.

Kiel previously announced his intention to file. Garner, seeking his fifth term, was not immediately available for comment.

Other Republicans who filed at the Clerk’s Office on Wednesday were Connie Gramarossa of Rolling Prairie for the County Board of Commissioners in District 1 and Keith A. Harris of Michigan City for Michigan Township Trustee.

Democrats included Joyce E. Forbes of New Carlisle for Hudson Township Trustee, Diane M. Richardson of New Carlisle for Hudson Township Board, Mark S. Yagelski of Michigan City for County Council District 3, Bette L. Conroy of La Porte for Pleasant Township Board and Randy Novak of Michigan City for County Council District 2.

On Thursday, Sheila Brillson filed to be a Democratic candidate for La Porte County Commissioner, District 1.

The deadline for filing is noon Feb. 9.

Across the hall at the courthouse, La Porte County Voter Registration was busy verifying signatures of voters petitioning to include candidates for U.S. Senate on the ballot.

Republican candidates who requested verification of signatures were U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita of Brownsburg and U.S. Rep. Luke Messer of Greensburg and Democrat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly of South Bend.

At least 500 verified signatures from each congressional district are required for a candidate to have his name placed on the ballot. 

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