PRINCETON — The pool of candidates for Princeton’s May 7 mayoral primary election firming up in the final hours of the filing period looks to be the largest in decades.

Princeton Mayor Brad Schmitt is challenged in his bid for re-election by at least two more candidates in the Republican primary this spring. Gibson County Councilman Mike Stilwell declared his candidacy before the new year began, among the first to file Jan. 9. On Thursday, Gibson County Auditor Sherri Smith filed as a mayoral candidate in the GOP primary.

In the Democratic mayoral primary, Gibson County Councilman Dan L. Beard filed his petition of candidacy Thursday. Former mayor Bob Hurst filed Jan. 9, and Princeton Board of Public Works and Safety member J.B. Brines filed earlier in January, as well.

Smith’s candidacy for mayor is her third bid. She challenged Hurst as the GOP nominee her first try, and was defeated in the GOP primary during her second run by Schmitt. In a prepared release, Smith said she’s excited about filing. “I have the integrity, competence, solid character and strong conservative values this office and our community need.

“It is time the City of Princeton had a mayor that put the city’s needs and wants above their own. If you are looking for the candidate that has the leadership and managerial skills, financial background along with real business experience to make this happen then all I need is your vote on May 7.’’

She pledged to work with the city council to “look for innovative solutions to local challenges and make this a better community for all our families.

“Vice-President Pence told me a few years back, ‘Duty is ours, outcomes belong to God.’ I believe in this statement and I offer my service to the citizens of Princeton.”

Beard, a former Princeton parks superintendent, said in a prepared release Thursday that he has the background and experience needed for the position. “I have worked with seven different mayors, five clerk-treasurers and 11 different councils,” he said. “I believe that I have learned a few things from my past experiences,” he said, noting that he has also learned a few things from the current administration. He pledged to work with the city council in a cooperative manner.

He now serves on the Gibson County Council and was previously elected to the Patoka Township Advisory Board and also served as Patoka Township Assessor.

Beard has also served on the board of Gibson County Youth Center, Princeton Boys Club, Gibson County Council on Aging, and has received the Princeton Jaycees Distinguished Service Award and Princeton Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award.

The deadline to file petitions of candidacy for the municipal primary election is at noon Friday.

Filing to-date:

Princeton primary

• Michael Stilwell, Brad Schmitt and Sherri Smith for Princeton Mayor GOP primary

• Robert J. Hurst, J.B. Brines and Dan Beard for Princeton Mayor Democratic primary

• Mindy Brines for Princeton City Clerk-Treasurer GOP primary

• Jan Ballard for Princeton Common Council District 1 Democratic primary

• William “Bill Tuley for Princeton Common Council District 2 GOP primary

• James E. Wilkerson for Princeton Common Council District 2 Democratic primary

• Dennis Gray for Princeton Common Council District 3 GOP primary

• Jim Maglis for Princeton Common Council District 3 Democratic primary

• Sheri L. Greene for Princeton Common Council District 4 Democratic primary

• Roland K. Wagner for Princeton Common Council District 4 GOP primary

Oakland City primary

•James Deffendall for Oakland City Mayor GOP primary

• Gary Bise for Oakland City Mayor Democratic primary

• Susie Basham for Oakland City Clerk-Treasurer Democratic primary

• Alfred “A.J.” Cooper for Oakland City Council District 1 GOP primary

• Michael R. McGregor for Oakland City Council District 2 GOP primary

• Brenda A. Willis for Oakland City Council District 2 Democratic primary

• George Armes for Oakland City Council District 3 GOP primary

• Steven J. Uppencamp for Oakland City Council District 4 Democratic primary

• Seth Woolsey for Oakland City District 4 GOP primary

• Charles Cochran Sr. for Oakland City Council at-large Democratic primary

Francisco

• Jonnie K. Watkins, Francisco Clerk-Treasurer, Democratic

• Harold L. Everett, Democrat, and Steve “Digger” Krieg, Leo McDonald and Raymond E. Dunn, Republicans for Francisco Town Council at-large

Owensville

• Tammy Patterson, Owensville Clerk Treasurer, Democratic

• Gerald MooreClerk-Treasurereridan, Republicans, for Owensville Town Council District 1

• Dwayne E. Matsel, Republican, for Owensville Town Council District 2

• Phyllis Gene Mayberry, Republican, for Owensville Town Council District 3

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