Here’s Your Southeast Indiana 2016 Primary Election Recap
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Lots of county-level races were decided on Indiana’s primary election day, but it can’t be said that there were any major surprises locally.
Turnout was strong Tuesday, especially for a primary election. Interest in the presidential primaries and Indiana’s rare, key status in the Republican presidential nominating process drove voters to cast their ballots.
Thirty-three percent of registered voters cast a ballot in both Dearborn and Ripley counties. Franklin County’s turnout was 36 percent. Switzerland County checked in at 31 percent. Ohio County turnout figures were not immediately available. Compare that to turnout in the 2012 election ranging between 20 and 24 percent in our area.
VIEW LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS AND NEWS ON OUR INDIANA VOTES 2016 PAGE.
In Dearborn County, three incumbents won the Republican county council at-large race. Allen Goodman, Charlie Keyes, and Bill Ullrich won the three nominations for the November general election. Quinn Webb and Jason Slusher were the odd men out. There were no contested Democratic races in Dearborn County.
Franklin County’s Republican primary saw incumbent County Commissioner Tom Wilson survive a challenge from Lyle Frost. Glen Bischoff, Dean McQueen and Rebecca Oglesby were the three candidates to emerge with nominations from the seven-candidate county council at-large race. Oglesby edged fellow incumbent Darryl Kramer by 15 votes, leading to a possible recount, according to the Franklin County Observer. Like Dearborn County, Franklin had no contested county race on the Democrat ballot.
Ripley County was also devoid of a local Democrat contested race, but Republican voters had to make a series of choices. Rodney Stratton and incumbent Gary Stutler won Republican nominations for Ripley County commissioner positions in districts 2 and 3, respectively. Brenda Wetzler, Bill Warren, and Mark Horstman were the three to win the county council at-large nominations while three other candidates bowed out.
Ripley County Coroner Ronald Reynolds will continue to run for re-election after surviving a four-way race in the GOP primary. Amy Copeland received 71 percent of the vote for the Republican nomination for county treasurer. County Clerk of Courts Mary Ann McCoy won a four-person primary race for county recorder with nearly half the vote. Meanwhile, County Recorder Ginger Bradford received the nomination for Clerk of Courts.
In the Town of Osgood, 75 percent of Republican voters selected Tammy Wilhoit to represent their part in the November election for Osgood Clerk-Treasurer.
One of the night’s closest races was in Switzerland County, where Democrats gave Lane Armstrong a 51-to-49 percent – 468 to 447 votes – victory over Steve Lyons for the party nomination for county commissioner. On the Republican ballot, incumbent Switzerland County Commissioner Josh South handily defeated Chris Clerkin, who was convicted of theft just a couple weeks prior to the election. For county council at-large, Andy Haskell, Lisa Fisher and Terry Hall earned the three Republican nominations while Steven Jones-Ellard was the one left on the outside looking in. The Democrat council at-large race was won by Rachel Bladen Schuler, Andrea Brogan and Matthew Levell with Mark Powell the unfortunate fourth candidate.
There was not a single local contested race for either Democrats or Republicans in Ohio County to settle.
The general election will be held Tuesday, November 8.