By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Debbie Niederhauser of Quincy was the only candidate to file nominating petitions for the new Regional Office of Education that will serve Adams, Pike, Brown, Cass, Morgan and Scott counties.
The week-long filing period ended at 4 p.m. Monday. No one but Niederhauser stepped forward. She filed her petitions Dec. 16 at the Illinois State Board of Elections to seek the Republican nomination in the March 18 primary.
Niederhauser is completing her first full term as regional superintendent of the Adams-Pike ROE. However, the Adams-Pike office is being merged with the four-county ROE based in Jacksonville. Starting July 1, 2015, the new ROE will serve not only the 83,533 residents of Adams and Pike but also the 61,481 residents of Brown, Cass, Morgan and Scott.
Niederhauser, whose current term expires June 30, 2015, now has to run for election to serve the entire six-county area.
Jeff Stephens of Jacksonville, the incumbent regional superintendent for Brown, Cass, Morgan and Scott, did not seek election to the newly merged district.
Competition appears to be shaping up for the new ROE that will serve Fulton, Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler counties. John Meixner of Macomb, the current regional superintendent of the Hancock-McDonough ROE, filed for the Republican nomination for the new four-county district while Dave Demler of Lewistown, the current regional superintendent of the Fulton-Schuyler ROE, filed for the Democratic nomination.
Winners from the primary will advance to the November 2014 general election. The eventual winners will be seated July 1, 2015.