TERRE HAUTE —
Democratic precinct leaders expect to caucus early next month to fill the vacancy created earlier this month by the death of Vigo County Surveyor Michael P. Sheehan.
Joseph Etling, county Democratic Party chairman, said candidates interested in the office can file a written candidacy with him up to 72 hours before the caucus, which has been set for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Vigo County Annex at First and Oak streets in Terre Haute.
Eighty-seven precinct committee men and women are eligible to cast votes in the caucus, to be conducted in the Vigo County Council room at the Annex. The caucus will be open to the public, but voting will be done by secret ballot, Etling said.
In the event of multiple candidates, the candidate with the fewest votes would be dropped, and a second round of voting would take place. If a vote ends in a tie, Etling, as party chairman, would cast the deciding vote.
If there is just one candidate, the candidate can be selected by acclamation of the caucus, Etling said.
Under state law, Etling could not call the party caucus until he received an official notification of Sheehan’s death. Etling said he received that notice Tuesday, along with a copy of the death certificate, from the county clerk’s office.
Sheehan, 58, was serving his fourth elected term as county surveyor. He first won election in 1998 and started in office in 1999. Sheehan was re-elected to the office in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
His current term expires Dec. 31, 2014.
Whoever is selected by the party caucus is eligible to file as a candidate for surveyor in the 2014 election.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.