Jay County voters can begin heading to the polls Tuesday.

Early voting for the May primary election begins Tuesday with Jay County voters having choices in three county-level races and two state representative contests for Republican nominations.

No Democratic nominations are contested in Jay County.

Early voting will be available from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the voting room at Jay County Courthouse.

Races for Jay County Commissioner (Middle District) and Jay County Sheriff highlight the GOP ballot locally.

Commissioners president Chad Aker, who is finishing his first term in office, is facing a challenge from former school board member Bryan Alexander. Aker has indicated support for a new facility for Jay Emergency Medical Services and Jay County Health Department, a continued push to convert roads to hard surface and a desire to be involved in planning how the county will spend its about $4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Alexander has focused on the need to attract new residents, plan on how to invest money to best spur growth and push for broadband internet access in rural areas while questioning the need for additional child care services.

Joel Bowers was the lone Democrat to file to run for the commissioners seat.

Three candidates — Tony Lennartz, Ray Newton and Patrick Wells, all of whom have law enforcement experience — are in the race for sheriff. Newton, a former two-term sheriff, has been critical of the sheriff’s office shutting down programs because of the coronavirus pandemic and said he wants “to bring back leadership and professionalism to the department.” Wells, who has worked at the sheriff’s office since 2003, has placed his focus on increasing pay and morale among officers in an effort to attract and keep employees. And Lennartz, who has been with the sheriff’s office since 2007, said he’d like to see an increase in officer training opportunities and offering substance abuse rehabilitation programs.

Democrat “Watermellon” Jim Phillips is uncontested for his party’s nomination for sheriff.

The other contested race at the county level is for auditor, where incumbent Emily Franks is facing off against Kristi Morningstar. Franks was selected last month to fill the remainder of the current term after Anna Culy resigned to take a position with Indiana’s Department of Local Government Finance. (Culy could not seek another term because of term limits.)

Races for state representative pit incumbent J.D. Prescott against Brittany Kloer in District 33, for voters in Noble, Wayne, Greene, Knox, Richland, Jefferson, Pike and Madison townships, and incumbent Matt Lehman against Russ Mounsey in District 79 for voters in Penn, Jackson, Bearcreek and Wabash townships.

John Bartlett of Hartford City was the lone Democrat to file to run for state representative in District 33. No Democrats filed to run in District 79.

Republican Travis Holdman is uncontested for the nomination for state senator in District 19. No Democrats filed to run in the primary.

Three Republicans — former council member Dave Dudelston, Chance Retter and Floyd Life — are running for two nominations for at-large seats on Redkey Town council.

Incumbent Dottie Quakenbush is the only candidate on the Democratic side of the ballot. (Randy May, the other incumbent, chose not to run for re-election in favor of trying for a seat on Jay County Council, where he is uncontested for the Republican nomination.)

Uncontested candidates for their party’s nomination for county-wide office are Democrat incumbent Wes Schemenaur of prosecutor, Republican incumbent Robin Alberson for assessor, Democrat incumbent Ted Champ for Jay County Council (District 1), Republican incumbent Harold Towell for county council (District 2), Republican Melanie Upp for recorder, Democrat Kelly Stipp for county council (District 2), Republican incumbent Faron Parr for county council (District 3) and Republican Cindy Bracy for county council (District 4).

Candidates for nominations for Pennville Town council are Republicans Alicia Corwin and Branda Manns and Democrat Millie Ellis.

All township trustee candidates are uncontested. They are: Republicans James Brewster (Wayne), Angela Moeller (Jefferson), Steven Cash (Penn), Virginia Cline (Noble), Rex Pinkerton (Jackson), Jason Rosenbeck (Wabash), Jenny Cline-Wagner (Knox) and Scott Hilfiker (Madison), and Democrats Nancy Cline (Greene), David Champ (Richland) and Crystal Laux (Bearcreek).

Township advisory board candidates are as follows:

Republicans — Tammy Horn, Scott Coy and Jeff Alberson in Pike, Kathy Mosser; Matt Caster and Terry Rigby in Jackson; Janet Confer in Jefferson, Ronald Paxson in Penn; Dennis Rodgers and Joelle Rinker in Knox; Jeff Overholser, Emily Daugherty and Eldon Campbell in Noble; Greg Shreeve in Madison; and Carrie Shaneyfelt, Michelle Jones, Michael Shreeve and Phillip Zarate in Salamonia.

Democrats — Richard Nixon in Jefferson; Robert Bailey, Alvin Cassel, Don Whitenack and Billy Bailey in Greene; Gary Glogas and Joseph Lloyd in Richland; and Shelli Rigsbee and James Haffner in Bearcreek.

Candidates for Democratic precinct committeeman are Brett Darby (Wayne 1), Bart Darby (Wayne 2), Nancy Cline (Greene), James Phillips (Redkey) and Fred Bailey (Wayne 7).

Running for Republican state convention delegate are Jenae Blasdel, Jon Eads, Matt Goldsworthy, Lenny Muhlenkamp, Michael Brewster, Jeff Hopkins, Missy Elliott, James C. Phillips, Amy Schilchter, Chad Schlichter, Ilze Koch, Carrie Petro and Oakland Gaerke. Running for Democratic state convention delegate are Fred Bailey and James Phillips.