One of the more exciting local races in the 2008 Starke County General Election involved commissioner candidates Kathy Norem and Mark Allen. Both were attempting to fill a vacant seat on the board and 9,223 votes were cast in that specific race. At the end of the night, Norem, a Republican, edged Democrat Allen by 73 votes.
There was much speculation that this year could set up a rematch as Kathy Norem is up for re-election. Mark Allen notified Kathy Norem in person on Tuesday that he was not going to file for a re-match. Allen said that his work schedule and family life made it impossible to devote the time necessary to “do the job right.”
Allen is part of a powerful Democrat family. His father Clifford was a county commissioner in both Starke and Marshall counties. His uncle Warren proceeded him as Oregon Township Trustee.
Mark Allen, 40, said he is still considering another run for a political office in the future, but that the time was just not right in 2012. He is currently the Oregon Township Trustee.