Republicans earn decisive victory, control County Council

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When the Switzerland County Pacers are playing, most local fans are decked out in orange and blue.

On Tuesday night, as election results came in, Switzerland County turned red.

Republican Red.

And that left many county Democrats feeling blue.

In resounding fashion, Republicans swept most major offices and gained control of the County Council. Republicans also retained a courthouse post and won another; took over a Township Trustee post; and won the county at the state levels.

Countywide, a total of 2,670 residents cast their ballots during the two weeks of the county traveling voting centers and also on Tuesday. With 7,131 voters registered, that translated to a turnout of 37.44-percent.

Here’s a look at county races:

COUNTY COUNCIL

At the center of the victory was the Republican control of the County Council, winning all four district seats to go along with current Republican Councilman At Large Terry Hall.

At Large Councilmen Steve Crabtree and Rachel Schuler are the two Democrats left on the council.

In District 1, which represents Jefferson I and II precincts, Republican Elizabeth ‘Itsy’ Jones defeated incumbent Democrat Tom Conroy by a count of 377-365.

Each candidate won a precinct, with Itsy Jones winning in Jefferson I by a tally of 163-140; and Tom Conroy won in Jefferson II by a count of 225-215.

In District 2, Republican Mike Bear defeated incumbent Democrat Mike Jones by a margin of 337-328.

District 2 covers three precincts: Jefferson III, Posey I, and York. Mike Bear won in Jefferson III by a margin of 114-112; and he also won in York by a total of 150-121. Mike Jones won Posey I by a count of 95-73.

Republican incumbent Glenn Scott was unopposed for re-election in District 3, and garnered 430 votes in Craig I, Craig II, Pleasant I, and Pleasant II.

The Republican sweep continued in District 4, where John Gary Welch defeated Democrat incumbent Jeff Darling 371-211.

John Gary Welch won all three precincts: Cotton I by a margin of 122-118; Cotton II by a count of 104-41; and Posey II by a 145-52 margin.

All of the winners will begin four-year terms on January 1st.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

The Democrats remained in control of the County Commission, as Democrat incumbent Mark Lohide defeated Republican challenger Tom Stow by a margin of 1,441 to 1,108.

The Democrat incumbent won 11 of the county’s 12 precincts:

He won Cotton I by a margin of 147-95; Cotton II by a 75-71 count; Craig I by a 67-60 margin; Craig II 70-65; Jefferson I 185-199; Jefferson II 258-183; Jefferson III 140-85; Pleasant I 51-45; Pleasant II 114-94; Posey I by a count of 100-62; and York by a margin of 144-124.

Tom Stow won Posey II precinct by a margin of 105-90.

Mark Lohide will begin his four-year term on January 1st.

COUNTY SHERIFF

After a four-year layoff, Democrat Nathan Hughes will return as County Sheriff, defeating Republican Robert Stockmeier by a margin of 1,353 to 1,227.

The race was a close one, but Nathan Hughes won nine of the 12 precincts.

The Sheriff won Cotton I by a margin of 139-99; Craig II by a count of 79-59; Jefferson I by a tally of 168-138; Jefferson II by a count of 256-195; Jefferson III by a tally of 124-105; Pleasant I by a margin of 52-42; Pleasant II 116-97; Posey I 86-84; and York 138-132.

Robert Stockmeier won Cotton II by a margin of 83-60; Craig I by a tally of 69-63; and Posey II by a count of 124-72.

Nathan Hughes will begin a four-year term on January 1st

COUNTY AUDITOR

Republican incumbent Gayle Rayles earned a second term in office by defeating Democrat Carla Harsin by a margin of 1,652 to 902.

Gayle Rayles won all 12 precincts: Cotton I 142-98; Cotton II 102-43; Craig 1 89-40; Craig II 82-55; Jefferson I 184-123; Jefferson II 280-165; Jefferson III 145-81; Pleasant I 70-24; Pleasant II 153-53; Posey I 96-68; Posey II 140-56; and York 169-96.

Gayle Rayles will begin her second four year term on January 1st.

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK

Republican Gayle Sullivan unseated Democrat incumbent Kim Hambrick by a margin of 1,400-1,162.

Gayle Sullivan won nine precincts: Cotton II 87-58; Craig I 81-49; Craig II 72-63; Jefferson I 154-153; Jefferson II 254-188; Pleasant I 64-20; Pleasant II 146-61; Posey I 79-87; Posey II 121-20; and York 136-131.

Kim Hambrick won Cotton I 136-103; Jefferson III 126-100; and Posey I 87-79.

Gayle Sullivan will begin a four-year term on January 1st.

COUNTY ASSESSOR

Democrat incumbent Joan Armstrong was unopposed for re-election, and earned 1,800 votes county wide.

She will begin her seventh four-year term as county assessor on January 1st.

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE

Democrat W. Gregory Coy was unopposed for re-election, and he garnered 1,887 votes across the county.

He will begin a six-year term on January 1st.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY

Current prosecuting attorney Monica Hensley was unopposed for re-election. The Democrat earned 1,702 votes countywide.

She will begin a four-year term on January 1st.