Seeing red: Republicans race to big wins in county, state, country

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Switzerland County was seeing red on Tuesday – Republican Red – as the county saw a high voter turnout, and that turnout led to a dominant Republican victory at all levels in the election.

Here, the county saw a voter turnout of 51.19-percent; with 3,819 voters going to the polls from a possible 7,460 registered voters.

There were 1,009 straight party ballots cast for Republican candidates in this election; 431 straight party ballots for Democrats; and 61 straight party ballots were cast for Libertarian candidates here.

Switzerland County had large voter turnouts at all of the traveling voter center locations over the past two weeks; big turnouts at the courthouse; and long lines of voters standing in the rain at the Switzerland County TEC Center on Tuesday.

But it was definitely a huge day for the Republican party, as candidates from the party swept both County Commissioner offices and two of the three seats on the County Council.

Add to that big wins in the County Coroner race; along with a Republican sweep of state and national races; and Republicans were smiling while county Democrats were left to try and figure out how its candidates not only lost, but were beaten decidedly.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT ONE

Incumbent Republican Josh South earned a big victory over his Democrat challenger, current Switzerland County Councilman Steve Crabtree, by an overall margin of 2,288 to 1,352.

South was dominant, winning all 12 precincts on Tuesday night. His biggest win was in Pleasant II, where he earned 75.79-percent (241 votes) to Crabtree’s 24.21-percent (77 votes). South also claimed more than 70-percent of the vote in Pleasant I (71.83-percent, 102 votes to 40 votes for Crabtree); and in Posey II, where he received 71.18-percent of the vote, winning by a 242-98 margin.

The closest precinct was Posey I, where South received 113 votes (55.12-percent) to Crabtree’s 92 votes (44.88-percent).

COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT TWO

In what was the closest county race of the night, Republican Jerry Monjar defeated Democrat Lane Armstrong by a total vote of 1,900-1,726.

Monjar will be a new face on the County Commissioners, as current Commissioner Steve Lyons was defeated by Armstrong in the Democratic primary.

Monjar won eight of the 12 precincts: Cotton I, Cotton II, Craig I, Craig II, Pleasant I, Pleasant II, Posey I, and Posey II.

Armstrong won Jefferson I, Jefferson II, Jefferson III, and York.

Monjar’s biggest win came in Pleasant I, where he got 86 votes (61.43-percent) to Armstrong’s 54 votes (38.57-perent). Pleasant II was another big win, with Monjar getting 187 votes (59.18-percent) to Armstrong’s 129 votes (40.82-percent).

Armstrong won York with 51.72-percent of the vote, while Monjar received 48.28-percent (195-182).

In what was the closest margin in the county, Armstrong won Jefferson II by a 293-291 margin; and won Jefferson I by a 200-194 count.

COUNTY COUNCIL AT LARGE

Switzerland County elected three at-large members to the seven-member County Council on Tuesday night. Each political party had three candidates on the ballot; with the top three vote getters earning four-year spots on the council, regardless of party affiliation.

In Tuesday’s election, first time candidate Republican Andy Haskell was the overall top vote getter, with 2,154 votes.

He will be joined on the Council by Republican Lisa Fisher, also a first time candidate who received 1,836 votes; and Democrat incumbent Rachel Bladen Schuler, who got 1,718 votes.

Falling short was Republican incumbent Terry Hall, who finished fourth with 1,681 votes; while Democrat Andrea Brogan (Ogden) was fifth with 1,197 votes; and Democrat Matt Levell finished with 1,077 votes.

Haskell won or tied 10 of the 12 Switzerland County precincts: winning Cotton I, Cotton II, Jefferson I, Jefferson II, Jefferson III, Pleasant I, Posey I, Posey II, and York. He also tied Hall in Craig II, where each candidate garnered 114 votes.

Hall won the other two precincts, Craig I and Pleasant II.

COUNTY CORONER

Republican Clinton Earls defeated Democrat challenger Alicia Fritter on Tuesday, with the final margin of 2,198 to 1,448.

Earls won all 12 precincts when the votes were counted on Tuesday night.

His largest margin of victory came in Pleasant I, where he received 70.80-percent of the vote (97) while Fritter received 40 votes for 29.20-percent.

Earls also rolled up big wins in Posey II (69.74-percent); Craig I (64.84-percent); Cotton II (64.19-percent); and Jefferson III (62.37-percent). He also earned over 60-percent of the vote in Craig II and Pleasant II.

SCHOOL BOARD

There were four seats on the Switzerland County School Board up for election on Tuesday, but there was only one contested race; and that came in the race for the seat representing the Town of Vevay.

Tye Sullivan won the seat over challenger Carla Burt by a final count of 2,381-704.

Sullivan wasn’t challenged in any of the 12 voting precincts, with a big win in Jefferson I, where he earned 85.64-percent of those voting (316-53); and he also topped 80-percent of the vote in Jefferson III (83.33-percent, 205-41); Jefferson II (82.67-percent, 439-92); and Cotton I, where he received 80.62-percent of the vote (262-63).

The closest race of any precinct came in Posey I, where Sullivan won by an 89-60 margin (59.73-percent to 40.27-percent).

The other three school board races were uncontested, with two incumbents earning reelection along with a second newcomer.

School Board President Katie Collier was unopposed and reelected to represent Pleasant Township, receiving 2,612 votes; and incumbent Josh Deck earned another four year term representing York Township, getting 2,614 votes on Tuesday.

The other new school board member, along with Sullivan, is Amy Combs, who was unopposed for the Cotton Township seat. She received 2,766 votes in Tuesday’s election.

COUNTY RACES

There were three county office races on Tuesday that were unopposed.

In the race for County Treasurer, incumbent Democrat Vickie Bailey James had no opposition, and on Tuesday earned 2,412 votes.

Democrat Nancy Brown Barker will return to the office of County Recorder, having served in the office under current Recorder Darla McAlister for the past eight years. McAllister was not eligible to run for reelection. Barker garnered 2,414 votes this election.

Republican Brian McAllister was unopposed on Tuesday and will serve another term as Switzerland County Surveyor. He received 2,856 votes on Tuesday.