Tuesday’s night’s general election was a big night for the Republican party — both on a local and state level — as it was nearly a clean sweep in all county races.
It was also a big election for voters in general, as 45.73-percent of Switzerland County voters cast ballots. Here in the county, a total of 3,076 residents voted out of a possible 6,727.
Leading the way on the local level was Republican Brian Morton, who easily won the County Sheriff’s race over Democratic challenger Cory Hankins by a count of 2,484 to 475. Morton won all of the county’s 12 precincts, pulling over 80-percent of the votes cast in 10 of those 12.
In another closely watched race, Republican challenger Jamie Peters defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Lohide for the County Commissioner’s post in District 3. Peters garnered 1,571 votes, while Lohide received 1,367 votes. The Republican saw his biggest wins in Craig I, where he earned 67.46-percent of the vote (114-55); and he also picked up a big win in Posey II where he got 66.39-percent (160-81). Overall, Peters won eight precincts: Cotton II, Craig I, Craig II, Pleasant I, Pleasant II, Posey I, Posey II, and York.
Lohide’s biggest win came in Cotton I, where he got 54.28-percent (184-155); and he also won in all three Jefferson township precincts.
In the courthouse, Republican incumbent Gayle Sullivan was returned to office with a strong win over Democrat challenger Erin Jackson. Sullivan earned 2,122 votes to Jackson’s 840 votes. The incumbent easily won all 12 precincts, averaging over 70-percent of the votes cast.
In the race for County Auditor, Republican Carolyn Green will replace retiring Auditor Gayle Rayles, as she defeated Democrat Trenton Ricketts by a count of 1,699 to 1,236.
Green won 10 of the 12 county precincts — claiming wins in all but Jefferson I and Jefferson II — including a big win in Posey II, where she earned 70.34-percent of the vote (166-70).
The Democrats got some good news when Stacey Mathews was elected as the County Assessor. She was unopposed for election, and replaces the retiring Joan Armstrong. Countywide, Mathews received 1,851 votes.
Democrat incumbent Monica Hensley was unopposed on Tuesday and was reelected as the county’s Prosecuting Attorney with 1,685 votes.
The four members of the County Council who represent specific districts in the county were all up for election — and again the Republican wave continued:
• In District 1, incumbent Republican Elizabeth ‘Itsy’ Jones defeated Democrat Dana Griffin by a tally of 451-361. The seat represents Jefferson I and Jefferson II, and Jones won both of those: 192-144 in Jefferson I and 259-217 in Jefferson II.
• Republican incumbent Mike Bear won reelection in District 2, which represents Jefferson III, Posey I, and York precincts. Bear defeated Democrat Steve Lyons by a margin of 438-248 on Tuesday, winning all three precincts: Jefferson III 149-86, Posey I 98-56, and York, 191-106.
• District 3 on the County Council will be represented by Republican Lance Collier, who was unopposed in this election. Overall, Collier received 587 votes from Craig I, Craig II, Pleasant I, and Pleasant II precincts. He replaces Glenn Scott, who chose not to run for reelection.
• District 4, which contains Cotton I, Cotton II, and Posey II precincts, was won on Tuesday night by Republican Todd Chase. Chase defeated Democrat Jeff Darling by a count of 498-234, winning all three of the precincts: Cotton I 215-122, Cotton II 104-53, and Posey II 179-59.
All of the county’s townships elected Township Trustees in this election:
• In Cotton Township, Republican challenger Kelly Purvis defeated Democrat incumbent Barbara Bowling by a margin of 294-207. In the race for the Cotton Township Advisory Board (three are elected): Republican Rita Works received 361 votes and Democrat Brenda Shaw received 182 votes. There was no third candidate.
• In Craig Township, Republican Neil Washnock was elected, defeating Democrat Jack Mathews 183-138. The Craig Township Advisory Board saw Republican Roberta Von Bargen receive 237 votes; Democrat Linda Andrew receiving 108 votes; and Democrat Lynda Spiller receiving 100 votes.
• In Jefferson Township, Democrat incumbent Wade Hughes was reelected, receiving 625 votes to Republican challenger Helen Peelman’s 406 votes. The Jefferson Township Advisory Board was contested, with five candidates for the three slots. Republican Deborah Hickman received 609 votes; Republican Alan Konkle received 600 votes; and Republican Gayle Rayles received 593 votes to win election; while Democrat Carol Ann Sublett received 441 votes and Democrat Don Stout received 422 votes.
• In Pleasant Township, Republican Shannon Phipps won election, defeating Democrat incumbent Jim Wingate by a margin of 225-162. The Pleasant Township Advisory Board was also contested with four candidates; and winning on Tuesday were Republicans Donald Morton (288), Travis Richards (209), and James Phipps (200). Democrat David Christman received 195 votes.
• In Posey Township, Republican incumbent Joey Rider was unopposed in the election, and he received 296 votes. In the race for the Posey Township Advisory Board, Republican Jill Hutcherson received 309 votes, Democrat Lulu Belle Thomas received 143 votes; and Democrat Mark F. Jones received 137 votes.
• In York Township, Republican incumbent Kenneth Byars defeated Democrat challenger Vicky Hinman by a margin of 202-98. There were four candidates for the three spots on the York Township Advisory Board, and on Tuesday, Republican Scott Gregory earned 195 votes, Republican Shannon Jackson received 185 votes, and Republican Larry G. Turner received 128 votes. Democrat Michael R. Beatty received 123 votes.