CROWN POINT — The 2016 election year opened a little too early Wednesday morning for most candidates.
Only four candidates filed for Lake County public offices Wednesday.
Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey was surprised to learn she was the first candidate to file for the spring primary.
"Nobody's been here before me?" she asked as she and her father, David M. Cox, walked into the Lake County elections board several minutes after filing opened.
The elections staff had a stanchion outside the doors to control what they expected would be a crowd of early filers, but no one showed up before the doors opened 8:30. Frey didn't appear until 20 minutes later.
Frey is running for her second term in office. "I just want to continue to serve another four years," she said after filing out the paperwork to appear on the May 3 Democratic primary ballot.
Frey, whose office investigates suspicious deaths, said she will run on a record of personally being involved in every one of the approximately 1,000 cases each year.
Lake County Commissioners Michael C. Repay, D-Hammond and Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, also file for re-election.
Jesus L. Ortiz Jr., of East Chicago, filed Wednesday as a challenger to Repay.
Representatives of presidential, senatorial and gubernatorial candidates also began depositing petitions at the office. State law requires the signatures of at least 500 registered voters from each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts, to qualify for election in Indiana.
In addition to the U.S. representatives, Hoosiers will be electing a governor, an attorney general and a superintendent of public instruction. Those candidate will file their paperwork with the Indiana secretary of state's office in Indianapolis.
Lake County voters will choose two state senators, eight state representatives, a circuit court judge, county coroner, county recorder, county surveyor and two members of the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
In addition to Frey, Circuit Court Judge George C. Paras, County Recorder Michael B. Brown and County Surveyor William Emerson Jr., also have said they will be running for re-election this year.
Lake County Councilman Eldon Strong and Schererville Town Board Councilman Jerry Tippy has said they will run in the Republican primary for 2nd District county commissioner.