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May 1, 2014

Large turnout for township board race a surprise

Seven candidatesare seeking threeopenings in Eel Township

Much of the local competition on the ballot for next week's primary election comes from one of the county's least-publicized roles.

One of the two primary election competitions for Cass County offices is on the Republican side for Eel Township Board members. Seven candidates are vying for the board's three open slots.

The about 10-square-mile township lies partly between the Eel and Wabash rivers and includes much of Logansport.

Eel Township Trustee Tom Knepper said it's usually "hard to find anybody to run for the board," adding that when he first ran for office, he was told he'd likely have to persuade three candidates himself.

This scenario is far more common across the other township board member slots on the primary election ballot, several of which show blank spaces underneath their titles and none of which list more than three candidates running.

Knepper went on to say his responsibilities include dispensing funds across the areas of fire protection and financial assistance for utilities, medication, clothing, household necessities, shelter and transportation. He said the responsibilities of the township board include going over the budget and financial reports each year. The township used to organize and carry out community service projects, he continued, but has since cut back on the practice because of a lack of funds.

Current board members include Sharon Kain, Thomas Keplar and Gordon Wilson, all of whom are running to keep their seats. Also running are Rick Bernhardt, John Bingaman, Mary Fox and Tony Key.

Sharon Kain is currently serving her fourth year on the board.

"I think that everybody should serve their county or their town or their community in some capacity if they're able," she said. "I feel like if you're able to serve your fellow man, you need to if you're able to."

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