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McBarnes files declaration of candidacy

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MCBARNES: Surrounded by family and friends, Chris McBarnes files to be on theballot in the 2019 Republican Mayoral Primary.
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PALMER: Accompanied by his wife, Susan, City Councilman Joe Palmer files to run for what would be his eighth term on the council.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

Wednesday was the first day that individuals may file a declaration of candidacy for the municipal primary, and Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes was among those who came to the clerk’s office in the morning to complete the necessary paperwork in order to be placed on the ballot for the 2019 Republican Mayoral Primary.

McBarnes announced his intention to run for a third consecutive term as mayor during a gathering on Nov. 29 at Arborwood. On Wednesday, he spoke about the differences between when he filed for his first term and now.

“Obviously, I have a bit more experience now. That was 10 years ago,” McBarnes said. “But I still have the energy and enthusiasm that I once had. The second key difference is that we have an effective team in place now – wise elders that are surrounding the office of mayor – that are helping Frankfort move forward. And that is what this campaign is all about – to keep Frankfort moving forward.”

A group of about 20 supporters came to the second floor of the courthouse to be with McBarnes during the filing.

“It was great to be surrounded by family, friends and loved ones this morning,” McBarnes said. “We are going to continue to focus on public safety. I think one of my main responsibilities is keeping the people of Frankfort safe. Being named the 11th safest city in Indiana was a big deal. We are going to focus on fiscal responsibility. When I came into office, 1.6 million dollars was our fund balance in city general. Jan. 1 of this year, that same fund balance was about $2,970,000. So, we are moving transformational projects while, at the same time, building a bank account. Last but not least is job creation and quality of place. Frito Lay’s 160 million dollar investment and Donaldson’s 35 million dollar investment is showing that our administration is keeping these investments here and not going elsewhere in the country or even Mexico, and we are going to keep fighting for that.”

But, McBarnes warned that is not all “sunshine and rainbows.”

“Frankfort still has a lot of obstacles,” he said. “Yes, we have made some tremendous progress the past seven years, but I am never going to be satisfied. And Frankfort is not out of the woods yet. I think we are well-positioned to be a growing, thriving, dynamic city. A city that grows assessed evaluation, so our tax rates are driven down. But we are not there yet. We are not stable yet. So, it is important for me to continue this mission to get my hometown to where it needs to be, and I want to be a part of that.”

Frankfort 3rd District City Councilman Lewis Wheeler, also a Republican, announced his candidacy for mayor of the city of Frankfort on May 18.

The first candidate for municipal office to file Wednesday morning was Democrat Joe Palmer, who will seek his eighth term on the city council.

“There is so much good going on that I want to continue on with the things that are happening,” Palmer said.

County Clerk Rhea Harris explained what a citizen must do to file for candidacy in the 2019 municipal election.

“They need to make sure that they are registered to vote in the county or in the municipal boundary in which they are running for office,” Harris said. “And they need to make sure that they have lived in that district for the correct length of time. That length of time is determined by the office that they are looking to run for. They can either call us, and we can check that for them, or they can go to the secretary of state’s website, www.in.gov/sos/elections.

“Then they need to come to the clerk’s office and file the paperwork,” she continued. “They can get the paperwork from us or they can get it from the Secretary of State’s office (or website).”

Harris added that all signatures on the required paperwork must be notarized.

“If they are not, just don’t sign it. Bring it in here, and we will certify the signatures for them,” she said.

Deadline for filing for candidacy is noon on Feb. 8. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 7, and Municipal Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.