Posted on

GOP takes control of county council

The Harrison County Council will again have a Republican majority, after the GOP secured three of four races up for grabs last night in the General Election.
Republican challenger Phil Smith narrowly defeated Democrat incumbent Leslie Robertson by a vote of 1,486 to 1,446 for the District 1 seat.
‘That was close,’ Smith said. ‘I look forward to working on the council for the betterment of the entire county.’
Robertson said she was not sure if she would call for a recount.
‘I’ll have to think about it,’ she said.
In the District 2 race, Republican Gary Davis topped Democrat Robert (Bob) Morris by a count of 2,249 to 1,568. Morris was selected to succeed William T. (Bill) Nichols on the council in July after Nichols died from burns suffered in a farming accident.
Davis served on the council from 1999 to 2006 and was the chairman for the last six years of his term.
‘I’m looking forward to returning to the council, which looks like we’ll have a Republican majority,’ he said.
Davis said his experience is what put him over the edge in the race.
In the most landslide council race, Republican Ralph Sherman easily defeated challenger Andrew Eschbacher, 1,996 to 1,260.
‘I appreciate all of the support I got,’ said Sherman, who was elected to his fifth term on the council, said. ‘I look forward to continuing on the council.’
Incumbent Gordon Pen-dleton was the lone Democrat to secure a victory in the council races. Pendleton defeated Republican Jeremy Shireman by 71 votes, 2,301 to 2,230.
‘It was a little closer than I thought it would be,’ Pendleton said. ‘I’m glad I contacted a lot of people. It’ll be interesting to see what we get done.’ Pendleton said the race with Shireman was a good, clean race.
Klinstiver edges incumbent Miller
Republican Jim Klinstiver ousted incumbent Terry Miller for the District 3 Commissioner seat, by a count of 7,467 to 6,999.
‘Well, it was a straight up-and-down campaign, both ways,’ Klinstiver said. ‘I really thought I’d win at the time I signed up, which was 20 minutes before the deadline. I thank the Lord Jesus for inspiration and direction.’
He also thanked his family, Brad and Megan DeVore of the Harrison County Young Republicans and GOP county chairman Scott Fluhr.
Miller regained the seat in 2006, after being beaten by current councilman Jim Heitkemper in 2002. Miller held the seat for three, four-year terms and 1-1/2 years of the late Wayne Brown’s second term before losing in 2002.
Shireman returned to auditor’s office
Republican Karen Shireman, who served as county auditor from 1995 to 2002, was elected to serve as auditor over Democrat Heather Metcalf. Auditor Pat Wolfe was unable to run again due to term limits.
Shireman, who received 9,046 votes to Metcalf’s 5,309, said she won partly due to the ‘tide of the nation,’ which had a strong Republican outcome.
She said she and Metcalf had a ‘very clean race’ and that both parties had ‘good, qualified candidates.’
Shireman said she has no plans to clean house in the auditor’s office. ‘You just don’t do that,’ she said.
Hauswald avoids Republican push
One of the few Democrats to come through the election unscathed was one-term incumbent Treasurer Carol Hauswald. She defeated her Republican opponent, Teresa Sutton of Elizabeth, by 661 votes, a surprising margin considering the strength of the GOP this election year.
‘I was very surprised,’ Hauswald said. ‘Hopefully, people thought I did a good job and didn’t see any reason to change my position.
‘I got an update with about 20 of the 36 precincts in, and I was up by a little bit, but it wasn’t until all of the votes were in did I finally relax,’ she said.
Township races close
Three townships had contested races for the trustee advisory boards.
In Harrison Township, the three incumbents ‘ Democrat Geneva E. Sams and Republicans Maurice F. Fisher and Lester K. Rhoads ‘ were re-elected to four-year terms.
In Morgan Township, incumbent Kenneth Jacobi, a Democrat, retained his seat. Joining him will be Republicans Brian Tincher and Gary S. Vaught.
Incumbent Daniel T. McPhillips, a Democrat, regained his seat on the Webster Township board. The other top vote-getters were Oren L. Chumley and Joey Rosbottom.
Voters return 1 to SH school board
Of the four seats up for grabs on the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, only one was filled by an incumbent last night.
Joyce C. Bliss, who was running for a second term on the board, defeated Pamela D. Carmichael by 539 votes to claim the District 1 seat.
In District 5, incumbent Carol Uesseler, who was seeking her second term, fell to Vicki Engleman, 3,724 to 2,667.
Board president Roger Windell lost his seat in District 4, which had nine candidates vying for two positions. The other spot being vacated belonged to Dr. John Gonzaba, a Corydon physician who will complete his first and only term at the end of the school year.
Former co-president of the South Harrison Education Association, Mary Mathes, was the top vote-getter with 2,002 votes, representing 16 percent of the overall total. She was elected along with Karen Lopp, a former member of the South Harrison school board. Lopp also garnered 16 percent of the vote, or 1,959 votes.
Windell wound up third in the voting with 1,739 votes.