Most incumbents nominated as fall candidates in Spring Primary Election PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:08

Tuesday, May 6, was a long day at the polls for most workers during the Primary Election.

Voters were far and few between at Scott County precincts. According to tabulations recorded by the Clerk’s Office, the official turnout was 2,566 people, only 13.27% of the county’s 19,332 registered voters.

Results in the Republican Primary were not surprising. Sheriff Dan McClain received the most votes of those cast for any local Republican candidate, 598. The candidate for County Assessor, Diana Cozart, received 554, while the District 3 Commissioner candidate, Scottsburg businessman Steven Phillips, received 502 votes.

District 3 County Councilman Eric Gillespie received 191 votes on Tuesday and was consequently renominated as the party’s candidate this fall. Chris Albertson, running for the District 4 County Council seat, got 158 votes.

This fall, Sheriff McClain will be competing against retired sheriff John Lizenby, the Democrat candidate. Neither man was challenged in their parties’ primaries. Lizenby received 1,458 votes on Tuesday.

Cozart, the incumbent Assessor, has no Democrat challenger, but Phillips will be facing incumbent Democrat Mark Hays in November for Hays’ post as District 3 Commissioner. Hays handily beat his challenger, businessman and farmer Tex Murphy in the Democrat primary, 1,185 to 633.

Gillespie will face a fight as well in the fall. His Democrat challenger will be former county councilman Pat Bridgewater, who beat both Steve Meyer, who has served as a councilman as well as a commissioner, and political newcomer Chris Wakeman. Bridgewater received 195 votes to Meyer’s 182 votes. Wakeman received 141 votes.

There will also be a choice for voters for the District 4 County Council post. Chris Albertson is now the Republican candidate, while Raymond Jones, who left the County Council nearly four years ago, returns as the Democrats’ candidate. The seat has been held by Jones’ sister, Clara Adkins, a Democrat, for the past term.

Jones and another politcal newcomer, Josh Stigdon, duked it out in the Democrat Primary, Jones winning 256 to 200.

Vienna Township Trustee Gordon Julian, a Republican, soundly beat his opponent, Terry W. Sandlin, in that party’s primary by a vote of 247 to 71.

Republican Jim Cozart received 70 votes as a candidate for the Finley Township trustee advisory board. Other Republicans who ran for advisory board seats are Tammy M. Caudell, 59 votes, and Jason K. Johns, 66 votes, in Lexington Township; and Doug Corum, 163 votes, and Yvette Dowd, 225 votes, in Vienna Township.

At the national and state level, District 6 Congressman Luke Messer was unopposed in the Republican primary. He collected 193 votes in Scott County. Messer’s Democrat opponent this fall is retired teacher Susan Hall Heitzman, who won in Scott County with 393 votes and then took the district by receiving 42% of cast votes compared with Lane Seikman’s 35% and Corinne Westerfield’s 23%. Siekman got 186 votes in the county, while Westerfield had 159.

Todd Young, the Republican incumbent for Congressional District 9, had two primary opponents. He won in Scott County with 350 votes and carried the district. Kathy Lowe Heil received 33 votes locally while Mark G. Jones received 17. His Democrat opponent this fall is Bill Bailey, former Seymour mayor and a businessman. Bailey trounced the other three Democrat candidates, taking 460 votes locally and 10,504 in District 9 for 48%. James R. McClure Jr. received 109 votes locally and 5,740 votes in D9. William J. Thomas got 97 votes in Scott County but only 3,220 district-wide. J.S. Miller received 52 local Democrat votes and 3,593 district-wide.

Jim Smith, the Republican State Senate incumbent in District 45, was unopposed and received 551 local votes. Democrat Julie Berry will be his fall opponent. Berry was unopposed on the Democrat primary ticket and received 1,408 votes in Scott County.

Lisa Seng Shadday of Madison will be the Republican Party’s candidate who will try to unseat Scott County native Terry Goodin this fall and win the District 66 State Representative post. She overwhelmingly won in Scott County, receiving 318 votes, over Ronald Harsin of Lexington, who got 199 votes, and Joe Van Wye Sr., who received 45 votes. Shadday also won the District 66 candidacy by getting 63% of the Republican votes compared with Harsin’s 30% and Wye’s 7%.

Goodin is the incumbent in the District 66 race. The Democrat lives near Austin and received 1,680 local votes.

In other Republican races of note, Erin Mount Houchen, who was raised in Scott County, won the Republican Party’s nomination for the seat of District 47 in the Indiana Senate. Houchen is the mother of three children and married to the Washington County prosecutor. The family lives in Salem.

She beat opponent Llyod Whitis Harris 57% to 43% to take the candidacy.

On the local level in the Democrat Primary, incumbent Jennings Township Trustee Virgil Johnson overwhelmed his opponent John Anderson, getting 420 votes to Anderson’s 115 votes.

Incumbent Johnson Township Trustee Evelyn Cross has the dubious distinction of being the only incumbent to have lost in the primary. She received 66 votes to challenger Robbie Combs’ 122 votes, thus leaving Combs as the party’s candidate in November.

Unopposed local Democrats who ran in their party’s primary include:

Incumbent Jason M. Mount, Prosecuting Attorney, 1,476 votes.

Tammy Stout Johnson, County Auditor, 1,436 votes.

Raleigh Campbell Jr., District 1 County Council, 396 votes.

Incumbent Albert “Ab” Watts, District 2 County Council, 339 votes.

Incumbent Danny Basham, Lexington Township Trustee, 222 votes.

Advisory board elections, where Democrat voters were to cast ballots for three nominees, included:

Finley Township: John Robbins Jr., 117 votes; Shawn Hurt, 62 votes.

Jennings Township: Mahala Baker, 312 votes; Todd Campbell, 304 votes; and Donald A. Sipe, 254 votes.

Johnson Township: Lonnie Combs, 143 votes; Glenda Buckner, 121 votes; and Mike Smith, 104 votes.

Lexington Township: John Kimmick, 169 votes; and Cort L. McGlothlin, 152 votes.

Vienna Township: Rosie Alsup, 466 votes; Freda Redifer, 460 votes; and Regina Hughbanks, 371 votes.

Three Democrat contests were held for precinct committeeman posts.

Don Campbell won the Jennings 3 seat with 103 votes to Donald A. Sipe’s 42 votes.

Karen Gricius won the Vienna 4 post with 67 votes to incumbent Ray Zollman’s 55 votes.

One of the most unusual aspects of the local Democrat primary was the race for the Jennings 5 precinct committeeman post. Both nominees, Todd Campbell and Brandon White, received 41 votes. Contacted for information on how the outcome will now be determined, County Clerk Missy Applegate said she called the State Election Board for direction on this first-ever type of tie. Her query was forwarded to the Democrat State Party. A party official advised her that the county’s Democrat Party chairman, Chuck Sebastian, would make that call. He was required to announce his decision on the tie by 6 p.m. on Friday, May 9. Sebastian chose the flip of a coin to determine the winner between the two men. He performed the ceremony on the steps of the Courthouse at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. White was the only candidate to appear at the coin toss. He called “tails” and the quarter came up “heads” as it came to rest on the sidewalk.

Sebastian thanked all for attending the unusual ceremony and wished White luck in the future when running for an office.