Republicans speak at forum


Republican candidates were out in full force on Friday as the Madison County Republican Party held a candidate forum.

Early voting begins Tuesday at the Madison County Courthouse.

Since all local races have been fielded by GOP candidates, barring runoffs, most positions will be picked in the March primaries.

Of those races, Judge Hal Ridley, running unopposed for reelection to his seat on the 278th District Court, thanked those in attendance for their support, saying it was an honor to serve Madison County.

District Attorney Brian Risinger, who is running unopposed after serving almost two terms, also said it was an honor and privilege to serve the residents of Madison County.

He also said he and his staff of five handle hundreds of cases each year; however, he was most proud of cleaning up a backlog of cases that existed when he took office.

He challenged each candidate speaking to answer a question: "What have you done to make the county a better place, a safer place?"

Unopposed candidate for District Court Clerk, Rhonda Savage, said that in her term, the clerk's office has started issuing passports, and has begun the practice of collecting costs and fees, which never had been done before.

Susanne Morris, who is running for a second term as County Clerk, and Judi Delesandri, candidate for County Treasurer, each said they appreciated being allowed to serve the county's residents.

Kevin Counsil, who is running to replace the retiring Betty Nosovitch as Republican Party Chair, said he has instilled into his children the need to be involved in public service, and is practicing what he preaches.

He said as chairman, he plans to make the party proactive, especially in getting the message of the GOP out.

Candidates for opposed races - County Judge, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 and 2 and County Commissioner Precinct 2 and 4, each were allotted time to express their sentiments on the county and their reasons for running.