The Journal Gazette
Sunday, January 05, 2020 1:00 am

Filing period for primaries begins Wednesday

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

The candidate filing period for Indiana's 2020 primary elections begins Wednesday.

Hoosiers will nominate Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates and vote in presidential nominating contests on May 5.

They also will pick nominees for all seats in the U.S. House and the Indiana House.

The Indiana Senate District 16 seat in Allen and Whitley counties will be on primary ballots, as will many Allen County government offices: District 1 commissioner, three at-large seats on the County Council, treasurer, coroner, surveyor and circuit court judge. And Republican voters will elect precinct committeemen.

Wednesday is the first day a major party primary candidate for president or governor can file nomination petitions with county voter registration offices for the verification of petition signatures.

It's the first day that independent or minor party candidates can file such petitions for the general election.

The deadline for people to file declarations of candidacy with county or state election authorities is noon Feb. 7.

Nominees for two statewide offices – lieutenant governor and attorney general – will be chosen at Democratic and Republican state conventions in June. Convention delegates will be elected in the May 5 primary.

NACS to host education forum

Northwest Allen County Schools will host an education forum with state legislators on Thursday.

The forum will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Carroll High School, 3701 Carroll Road.

The program is being presented by Charger Advocates, Northwest Allen's parent ambassador program.

Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, and House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, are among state lawmakers who plan to participate.

The legislators will take questions from the forum audience if time permits.

The Indiana General Assembly will be in session from Monday until no later than midnight March 14.

State aces tax test

Indiana and Alaska have received the highest ratings for state tax appeals processes and administrative practices from the Council on State Taxation.

Both states received an A from the nonprofit council, whose mission is “to preserve and promote equitable and nondiscriminatory taxation of multijurisdictional business entities.”

The Washington council compared states on several factors, including whether a state's tax dispute forum is independent; whether taxpayers are forced to pay or post bonds before a dispute hearing; whether the statute of limitations for refunds and assessments is even-handed; whether interest rates on refunds and assessments are equalized; and whether a taxpayer has adequate time to file a protest before a dispute forum.

The council, which goes by the acronym COST, also looked for “ineffective, burdensome, or inequitable practices” not covered by its scorecard categories.

States receiving an A-minus were Arizona, Illinois and Virginia. The lowest grade, a D-minus, went to the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Gift of gab

Hoosiers were missing from the lists of federal lawmakers who spoke most often on the floors of the House and the Senate last year.

Nobody from Indiana made the top 10 in either chamber, according to data released last week by C-SPAN Archives. Each of the top 10 representatives spoke on the floor on at least 60 days, and each of the top 10 senators spoke on at least 46 days.

The leaders were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who spoke on the floor on 136 days during 2019; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who did so on 131 days; and Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Pa., who spoke on 121 days.

Senators seeking the Democratic nomination for president didn't wear a path to the microphone. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke on the floor on 20 days, but none of the six other candidates in the chamber, two of whom have dropped out of the race, spoke on more than nine days.

As for legislative production, the Democratic-controlled House approved 422 bills and resolutions, while the Republican-controlled Senate approved 183, according to Purdue University communications and political science professor Robert Browning, executive director of C-SPAN Archives.

Browning noted that the Senate also confirmed 295 citizen nominees.

To reach Political Notebook, email Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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