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Huge Turnout Sends Hancock, Beckenbaugh, Into Office
November 5, 2008 - Knightstown and Henry County voters turned out in record numbers for the general election Tuesday, reflecting a trend that swept across the entire nation. Locally, the political scene for the most part maintained a status quo, with Republicans and Democrats alike retaining seats they had long held. Knightstown-area resident Sam Beckenbaugh, who defeated incumbent county commissioner Phil Estridge in the May primary, won the Southern District seat by a nearly 2,000 vote margin over democrat Dennis Witt. Beckenbaugh garnered, 11,102 votes compared to Witt’s 9,220.
Republican Kim Cronk won a term for the Middle District Commissioner seat by a narrow margin over Democrat challenger Brian Ingermann, 10,970 to 9,786. In other county races, Democrat Stacey Guffy, the incumbent county coroner, defeated Republican challenger and former coroner Dudley Guffey 11,209 to 9,323. Richard “Dick” Byers, a Republican, defeated Democrat Garth Reynolds 11,043 to 9,304. The race for the three at-large positions on the Henry County Council was by far the closest of all area races.
Winning the three at-large seats were Republicans Harold Griffin and Michael Thalls, as well as Democrat Jeff Hancock. Griffin finished with 10,610 votes, and Thalls had 10,450. Hancock had 10,330 votes, narrowly defeating Republican Mike McKown, who garnered 10,064 votes.
Republican State Representative Tom Saunders retained his seat with a comfortable victory over Libertarian challenger Rex Bell. Saunders took more than 68 percent of the Henry County vote. State Senator and incumbent Republican Beverly Gard and U.S. Representative and incumbent Mike Pence easily won their raced as well.
All election results are unofficial until they are certified.
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