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Thelen will challenge Bartels for County seat

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HARTINGTON — John Thelen, Randolph, has filed to run against Cedar County Dist. 2 County Commissioner Craig Bartels.

Bartels is finishing his first term in office after unseating 28-year veteran Marlen Kraemer in 2016.

Both Bartels and Thelen are Republicans, so they will compete in the May Primary election.

Thelen is best known for his court cases with Cedar County over right-of-way complaints against him.

The deadline for filing for this year’s city, school, state and county elections was Monday.

Anyone interested in seeking an elective office for one of these governmental entities must now file as a write-in candidate in order to do so.

Cedar County Clerk Dave Dowling said state statute requires that in order to have a person’s name counted as a write-in they must first file an affidavit with his office prior to May 1.

The deadline to file for an election for village boards, regional public power districts and NRDs is July 15 for an incumbent and Aug. 1 for a non-incumbent.

Cedar County is again using the vote-by-mail method for casting ballots.

All ballots will be sent out April 20 and must be back to the County Clerk’s office before the election polls close May 12.

Several important deadlines for people wishing to vote in this year’s May Primary Election are fast approaching.

Anyone wishing to register to vote online or through the Neb. Dept. of Motor Vehicles must do so by April 27.

People can still register to vote in person at the Cedar County Clerk’s office until 6 p.m., May 1, said Cedar County Clerk Dave Dowling.

Dowling said May 1 is also the deadline for anyone wishing to get into the election as a write-in candidate. Anyone that still wants to run for office must file an affidavit with Dowling’s office as a writein by 6 p.m., May 1. While that person’s name will not appear on the ballot, the filing allows County election officials to count the writein. If no such affidavit is filed, write-in votes will not be counted, he said.

He noted a new Nebraska law about write-ins may have an impact on village board elections around the state.

In the past, County Election workers were able to count all write-ins for village boards and determine a winner that way. Beginning this year, write-ins for all offices must first file with the County Clerk’s office before any votes for them can be counted.

“This will have an affect on some of our elections,” Dowling said, noting that quite often village boards do not get enough candidates to throw their hats into the ring, so the write-in process has been used to get people onto these boards.

Dowling said nonpartisan voters can request a ballot to vote the full Democratic or Libertarian ballot, but they must fill out a form prior to the election in order to do so, he said. If a non-partisan voter wishes to vote in the Republican Primary, they will only be able to vote for Congress and for U.S. Senate, though, Dowling said.

Cedar County’s number of registered voters designating themselves as non-partisan has climbed to 850, he said.

On the national scene, several top tier Democratic candidates for President dropped out of the race just prior to the Super Tuesday primaries, but they will remain on the ballot in Nebraska unless they file paper work with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office before the March 10 deadline.