PRINCETON — Democratic challenger Warren Fleetwood unseated incumbent Gibson County Board of Commissioners District 3 representative Gerald Bledsoe 8,696 to 7,289 Tuesday in local races.
Fleetwood mounted his campaign as a Democratic caucus candidate after Bledsoe won his GOP primary race in June. Fleetwood and unopposed GOP District 1 candidate Kenneth Montgomery take seats on the board of commissioners in January.
Montgomery campaigned as an opponent of zoning and vowed to vote to rescind the recently enacted zoning ordinance if elected. He collected 13,132 votes. Fleetwood also campaigned as an opponent of countywide zoning.
As the results came in around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Bledsoe left the GOP election headquarters, without comment, with his family.
The usual election night atmosphere was rather muted, likely by COVID-19 precautions, with a much smaller crowd at GOP headquarters at The Palace. Democrats did not open an election night headquarters.
In other local races, incumbent Republicans Derek McGraw (8,885), Bill McConnell (8,367) and Mike Stilwell (7,966) won reelection. Democratic challenger Michael Priar finished fourth with 4,716 votes.
McGraw, arriving at GOP headquarters on the north side of the square later in the evening, said it feels awesome to be elected to another term in the “weirdest campaign” year he’s ever experienced.
McGraw said he relied on his record over the past eight years, and voters can expect the same efforts as he retains his seat. He said the jail project is what brought him in and he felt it would be irresponsible not to continue and see it through by seeking re-election.
Stilwell and McConnell were not at the GOP headquarters Tuesday night.
Republican Mike Watkins won his first political bid without opposition, on his birthday, collecting 6,916 votes to take the office of Gibson County Auditor. Also elected without opposition were Republican Barrett Doyle, 6,931 votes for Gibson County Coroner, and incumbent Republican Scott Martin, 6,828 votes for County Surveyor.
In the only contested school board race in the county, Brock Sievers (2,517) and Joe Williams (2,494) won North Gibson District 3 at-large seats, defeating incumbent Mark Iunghuhn (2,068).
Incumbent District 4 at-large incumbent Travis Nolcox was unopposed in his bid for re-election with 4,349 votes.
In East Gibson, District 2 board member Wendi Nurrenbern (565 votes) and District 4 board member Roger Sermersheim (558 votes) won re-election without opposition.
In South Gibson, incumbent District 1 member Tim Nurrenbern (5,163), District 2 member David Lewis (4,817) and District 3 member Janet McBee (4,787) were re-elected without opposition.
Incumbent Democrat Stephanie Berry was re-elected unopposed as the Town of Patoka’s Clerk-Treasurer, collecting 233 votes.
In the Patoka Town Board race, Republicans Albert Luttrell (181 votes), Michael Kermode (148 votes) and Bobby Bean (135 votes) won seats, while Democratic candidate Herbert Gray came up short with 76 votes.
STATE — NATIONAL
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence carried Gibson County with 73% of the votes cases, while Democratic candidate Joe Biden and running-mate Kamala Harris garnered 24.91%.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch won re-election and carried Gibson County with 74.52% of the vote. Republican Todd Rokita carried 74.47% of the vote in the Indiana Attorney General race against Democratic candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel (35.53%). With 57% of the state’s precincts counted at press time, Rokita was leading Weinzapfel 62% to 38%.
Incumbent Eighth District Congressman Larry Buschon won re-election and carried Gibson County with 80% of the vote over Democratic challenger Thomasina Marsili (16%) and Libertarian candidate James Rodenberger (3.9%).
In the Indiana State Representative District 64 race, Republican incumbent Matt Hostettler of Fort Branch carried Gibson County with 81% of the vote against Democratic challenger Ian Gamroth of Princeton (18.8%). With 64.6% of the district’s precincts reporting at press time, Hostettler was leading with 75.6% of the vote.
Some 16,335 votes were cast in Gibson County among 23,553 registered voters, for nearly 70% turnout. Of the votes cast, more than 6,200 ballots were cast prior to Election Day.
Editor’s Note: See cumulative and precinct results online at pdclarion.com
Email Andrea Howe at email@example.com