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Voters Mandate Change - Local Election Results Announced
November 7, 2007 - While only about a third of eligible registered voters voted in yesterday's town council election in Knightstown, more than 70 percent of those voting cast ballots for the three independent candidates, giving them a resounding victory over the Republican incumbents.
In Knightstown's Ward 1, independent Clyde South claimed 309 votes (79.4 percent), compared to 80 (20.6 percent) cast for Nate Hamilton, the council's incumbent vice president. Independent Robert Weber received 255 votes (66.1 percent) in the Ward 3 race, besting incumbent Cort Swincher's 102 votes (26.4 percent) and the 29 (7.5 percent) cast for Libertarian Bryan Miller. Finally, in Ward 4, independent Terry Guerin collected 276 votes (70.6 percent), while incumbent Council President David Glenn had 115 (29.4 percent).
According to local election officials in Knightstown, 401 voters participated in yesterday's election, including 32 who voted by absentee ballot, out of an estimated 1,200 eligible voters. Broken down by precinct, 190 of the voters were from Precinct 2, which covers the largest geographical area in town, while Precincts 1 and 3 had 122 and 89 voters, respectively.
According to Randy Riggs, a Henry County Republican Party appointee to the Knightstown Election Board, two votes were discarded because election officials were unable to discern the voters' intent from marks made on the ballots. Election Board Chairman Marion Adkins, an appointee of the Henry County Democratic Party, also said that 26 people who came to the polling location at Knightstown Town Hall were not allowed to voted because they lived outside of Knightstown's town limits.
"We had to tell them, 'There's no election for you,'" Adkins said.
Riggs told The Banner that election officials began counting ballots at about 6:15 p.m. Pat Nicholas, the election inspector appointed by the Republican Party, and Toddy Cupp, an election judge appointed by the Democratic Party, completed their count of votes by precinct by 7:40 p.m. Riggs and Adkins then totaled and certified the precinct results, and were expected to deliver the results and ballots to the Henry County Clerk's Office in New Castle.
Also registering victories in yesterday's election in Knightstown were Republican incumbents Judy Haines and Hayden Butler, the town's clerk-treasurer and town court judge, respectively. Not surprisingly, Haines and Butler, who were both unopposed on the ballot, drew the highest number of votes of all candidates for office in Knightstown, with respective counts of 322 and 324.
Knightstown voters did not vote yesterday for the Ward 2 and Ward 5 council seats that are held, respectively, by Valerie Trump and Steve Nelson. Both Trump and Nelson retained their seats when no one ran against them last year, and will not face reelection until 2010.
Voters in Kennard elected two new members to their town council yesterday, and voted to keep the lone incumbent seeking reelection.
With 104 ballots cast, Democrat challengers Beth Coy and John Ryan drew the highest number of votes with 80 (76.9 percent) and 72 (69.2 percent), respectively. Incumbent Republican Council Member Michelle Cleek's 68 votes (65.4 percent) were good enough to secure the third seat on the three-member council. Robert Bryant, another Democrat challenger, only garnered 43 votes (41.3 percent) in his unsuccessful bid to give Kennard Democrats a complete sweep.
Also successful in yesterday's Kennard election was Julie Snyder, the Democrat candidate for clerk-treasurer. Although she faced pre-election competition from another Democrat, Snyder came out on top during a town convention and faced no opposition on yesterday’s ballot.
Carthage voters elected five Republicans in yesterday's town council election, returning incumbents Rick Bush and Wanda Henderson, the council's respective president and vice president, and Bill Armstrong, and electing newcomers Mike Onkst, the Carthage town marshal, and Doris Wyatt. Incumbent Democrat Tim Wehr, the sixth candidate running for the five-member council, was not reelected.
According to results provided by the Rush County Clerk’s Office, Wyatt had the highest number of votes in Carthage with 174, followed by Armstrong (172), Henderson (160), Onkst (148) and Bush (121). Wehr had 79 votes.
In the race for Carthage Clerk-Treasurer, Republican incumbent Linda McMahan had 179 votes and defeated Democrat challenger Abbie Wehr, who had 46 votes.
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