New county officials are sworn in, will begin new duties on January 1st

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The general election in Switzerland County was held on Tuesday, November 7th. The candidates who were successful on Election Day were officially sworn into their new offices on Saturday morning in a ceremony in the courtroom of the Switzerland County Courthouse.

The newly-installed officials will begin their terms this Monday, January 1st.

The courtroom was filled with new office holders and their family and friends, with a large group of candidates being sworn in at all levels of county government.

Circuit Court Judge Ted Todd was sworn in for another term, and was accompanied in the ceremony by two of his grandchildren, Logan and Brooke Todd of Vevay.

Democrat Chad Lewis survived a close primary race for prosecuting attorney, and was then unopposed in the November general election. He was sworn in on Saturday along with Monica Hensley, who will continue to serve as the deputy prosecutor.

Both the circuit court judge and the prosecuting attorney are shared with Jefferson County, so both men also will be sworn in at Madison before the beginning of the year.

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For county offices, Republican Kenton “K.C.” Banta was sworn in for another term as the County Commissioner for a third term in District Three. He will continue to serve with fellow commissioners Brian Morton and Craig Bond for the next two years, when they will be running for reelection.

There were four seats on the Switzerland County Council up for election in November; with the four seats that are assigned to specific districts going through balloting.

At Saturday’s ceremony, Democrat Tom Conroy was sworn in as the representative of District One, replacing longtime councilman Kenny Griffin, who did not seek reelection. Democrat Mike Jones continues his long record of service in District Two; and Republican Terry Hall will serve another term as the councilman from District Three. Democrat Don Covington will again serve the residents of District Four.

The county council consists of seven members, with the other three – Steve Crabtree, Darrell Hansel, and John Keeton, serving as “at large” members. Those three will be up for reelection in two years so that the council never completely changes at the same time.

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County Sheriff Nathan Hughes was sworn in for a second elected term on Saturday. He is the first county sheriff in more than 20 years to be elected to a second term. Garry Forwood was the last sheriff to win two terms in the 1980s; but resigned before he finished his second term.

J.D. Leap completed that term and won election to a term of his own, but was defeated by Republican Lonnie Harris, who chose not to seek a second term. John Johnson then served as sheriff, but was defeated for reelection by Wayne Browning, who also chose not to seek a second term four years ago – when Nathan Hughes was elected to his first term.

There were three offices in the courthouse that were up for election in November, with clerk of the circuit court Ginger Peters and county assessor Joan Armstrong both being reelected without opposition.

The county auditor’s office will change parties but not personnel, as deputy auditor Rachel Bladen was sworn in on Saturday as the new auditor. Current auditor Janice Ramsey did not run for reelection.

All of six the Township Trustee positions were up for election in November, and all of this year’s winning candidates were sworn in on Saturday.

Current trustees Anthony Jackson in Craig Township and Barbara Bowling in Cotton Township were reelected without opposition; while Clifford Hatton in York Township and Robert Jackman in Posey Township were reelected after facing opposition in November.

Jefferson Township will have a new trustee, as Republican Lowell Wayne Sullivan was sworn in on Saturday; while in Pleasant Township, Republican Andy Jessup won election, but will not be able to serve in the post since he has been transferred by his employers out of the area.

By state law, the county’s Republican precinct committeepersons will hold a caucus to elect a trustee for Pleasant Township, who will then be sworn in and will serve out the term.

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All of the townships also elected Township Boards – groups of three residents who help advise the township trustee.

– In Cotton Township, Lowell McCreary, Brenda Shaw, and Rita Works were elected and sworn in on Saturday.

– Elected in Craig Township were Lynda Spiller and Roberta Von Bargen, with the third seat still to be filled.

– The township board members from Jefferson Township are Pauline Johnson, Roberta Scudder, and Carol Ann Sublett.

– In Pleasant Township, the township board members will be Donny Morton, Bob Richards, and Donald Tinker.

– Posey Township’s township board members will be Mark Jones, Lulu Belle Thomas, and Jill Hutcherson.

– In York Township, the board members elected to serve a four year term were Mike Beatty, Larry Turner, and Shannon Jackson.

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The general election in November also marked the first time that school board members were elected during the general election and not during the primary election in May.

Andy Truitt was reelected without opposition to represent Jefferson Township; while Virgil McKay was elected in Craig township and Vern Waltz was elected in Posey Township.

All three will be sworn in at the January meeting of the Switzerland County School Board, but were also invited to participate on Saturday if they chose to.