The Town of Vevay went to the polls on Tuesday, and with contested races for all three town council seats and also for the town’s clerk-treasurer position, anticipation was high as the results were announced in the clerk’s office of the courthouse on Tuesday evening.
In Vevay, there was a total of 506 voters out of a possible 1,303 — just 38.83% of those eligible; with the town having 168 early ballots cast.
In a recent trend, there 134 straight ticket ballots cast — 84 by Republicans (62.69%) and 50 by Democrats (37.31%).
In the Town of Patriot, there were 86 voters out of a possible 161, for an overall turnout of 53.42%.
There were also 25 straight tickets cast: 19 by Democrats (76%); and 6 by Republicans (24%). There were 20 early voters in Patriot.
In perhaps the most talked about race of the election season, Republican Brandi Bear defeated Democrat Natalie Dickerson by a final count of 242-172. Bear will replace retiring Vevay Clerk-Treasurer Democrat Donna Knaus, who will finish her 36th year as the office holder at the end of 2019.
Town elections involve voters who live in Jefferson I and Jefferson II precincts who also reside within the town limits of Vevay. On Tuesday, Bear defeated Dickerson in Jefferson I by a margin of 139 (58.65%) to 98 (41.35%); and in Jefferson II by a count of 103 (58.19%) to 74 (41.81%).
A jubilant and relieved Bear was surrounded by her family and friends in the lobby of the courthouse annex as the final results were announced, admitting that she’d been up since 4 a.m. — too nervous to sleep — and had been at the polling location at the Switzerland County TEC Center the entire day. As Switzerland County Clerk of Courts Gayle Sullivan read off the results, the Vevay clerk’s race was the first made public, with a round of applause resounding through the hallway.
Bear will assume the duties of the Clerk-Treasurer on January 1st, and one of her first duties will be to oversee the move of Vevay Town Hall from its current location on Ferry Street in the former Carnegie Library Building to Walnut Street, and into the former Jack Sullivan Senior Citizens Building.
Vevay Town Council
There are three seats on the Vevay Town Council, and all three were up for election to four year terms on Tuesday. Each political party, after holding a town convention, had three candidates on the slate.
After the ballots were counted on Tuesday night, the council remained with a 2-to-1 majority for the Republicans.
Current councilman Jason ‘J.J.’ Sullivan, who was appointed to the council last year after Joe Spilman resigned when he moved out of the town limits; was the leading vote getter overall, finishing with 273 votes (22%).
He will be joined by first term Republican councilman Chris Riley, who was the second-leading vote getter on Tuesday with 249 votes (20.06%); and current Town Council President Democrat Keith Smith, who was third overall with 245 votes (19.74%).
Other candidates for Vevay Town Council included Democrat Andy Truitt, who finished fourth with 205 votes (16.52%); Republican Mark Graham, who was fifth with 162 votes (13.05%); and Democrat Jamie Hayes, who finished with 107 votes (8.62%).
In the breakdown by precinct, the final results stayed true. In Jefferson I, Sullivan garnered 158 votes; Riley received 147 votes; Smith received 138 votes; Truitt got 114 votes; Graham earned 96 votes; and Hayes received 54 votes.
In Jefferson II there was a slight adjustment at the top, with Sullivan leading with 115 votes; followed by Smith with 107 and Riley with 102. Truitt got 91 votes; Graham 66; and Hayes 53.
Sullivan, Riley and Smith will now begin new four year terms on January 1st.
Patriot Town Council
The Town of Patriot also elected three members to its Town Council on Tuesday, and for the first time in several years, there were contested races, leading to an election. The Patriot Town Council will also be split politically, but with two Democrats and one Republican.
There were five candidates on Tuesday’s ballot: three Democrats: Dwight Murdock, Elizabeth Thomas, and Theresa Winter; and two Republicans: Nicole Renyer and Tony Rider.
Those results also were announced on Tuesday by County Clerk Sullivan, with incumbent Thomas being the leading vote getter with 51 votes (32.08%); while incumbent Rider was second with 38 votes (23.90%) and newcomer Winter finished third with 36 votes (22.64%).
The other two candidates: Murdock finished with 20 votes (12.58%) and Renyer received 14 votes (8.81%).
Only those residents of the town of Patriot in Posey I precinct were eligible to vote.
The one race on Tuesday that did not hold any anticipation was in the race for Clerk-Treasuer for the Town of Patriot.
Democrat incumbent Linda Fisk was unopposed for re-election on Tuesday, garnering 42 votes.
She will begin her fourth term on January 1st.