• From left to right: Megan Seay, Karen Harlan, Karen Sikes, Leo Sanders, Kim Cook, David Smith, Leah Avvocato

New County Officials Sworn In Friday

County officials gathered at the courthouse Friday to be sworn into office for the next four years.

Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders, Prosecuting Attorney David Smith, Assistant Prosecutor Leah Avvocato, Circuit Court Clerk Karen Harlan, Treasurer Karen Sikes, Recorder Kim Cook and 42nd Circuit Judge Megan Seay took the oath from County Clerk John Martin. Martin had already been sworn in.

Associate Court Clerk Patrick Horsefield also has been sworn in.

Sanders will begin his third term in office as presiding commissioner. He took over following the 2010 election. 

In August, Sanders was challenged in the Republican primary by Diana Ijames. Sanders won that race and was uncontested in the general election. All but Seay went unchallenged in November.

Harlan and Cook also begin their third terms. Both went unchallenged in the primary.

Sikes succeeds Catie Ringeisen as treasurer. Ringeisen won a special election in 2012 and a full term in 2014. She opted not to run for reelection.

Sikes won the Republican primary against Angela Brown.

Smith takes over for Kent Howald, who served one term as prosecutor. Smith previously served as Howald’s assistant and Avvocato takes over in that role.

Smith defeated Susan Bell in the Republican primary.

Martin, who was appointed to succeed Mardy Leathers in September 2014 and elected to a full-term two months later, was unchallenged in the primary. He did face a write-in campaign from Tami Cape that began just a month before the November election.

Seay defeated Sid Pearson for circuit judge in November. Horsefield won the Republican primary against Kristopher Crews for associate judge. Horsefield succeeds Scott Bernstein, who had served in that capacity since 2006. Bernstein chose not to run for reelection and instead opted for circuit judge, losing to Seay in August.

Pat Schwent, who resigned as collector in March due to an ethics violation, won the Republican primary against Allen Teal. Schwent will take the oath in March to begin a third term.

The next election will be in 2020 with the seats of Rob Cummings (District 1 Commissioner), Jared Boast (District 2 Commissioner), Franky Todd (public administrator), Kellie Vestal (assessor), Darin Layman (sheriff) and Paul Hutson (coroner) expiring.

Sullivan Independent News

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