Graham retains mayor’s office in Scottsburg; Bush will take lead January 1 in Austin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 08:26

A comprehensive attempt by Scottsburg City Council President Terry Amick to wrest the reins of the mayor’s office away from the steady hands of incumbent Bill Graham was foisted by Graham supporters on Tuesday, November 3.

Amick, a Democrat, decided to run in the mayor’s race for the city’s top political office shortly before the deadline to enter last spring’s primary election. He beat out Democrat Party Chairman Chuck Sebastian for that honor and had waged a hard battle since, wrangling against Graham, who has served continuously in the office since 1989.

Amick offered voters a slogan he felt encompassed his views, “New Leadership for a New Tomorrow.” When the dust settled on Tuesday night, however, 57% of the electorate that voted chose Mayor Graham over Amick.

The challenger collected 43% of the votes cast, losing by 254. Graham received 1,013 to Amick’s 759.

The loser visited Graham at Republican Party headquarters after conceding the race. Amick also thanked all of his supporters on his Facebook page for their support. “Your friendship and love have been a driving force. We feel we have been obedient to God’s call to run this race,” he told visitors to the site.

Graham also thanked his supporters via his website for giving him “...four more years of working together for a better Scottsburg.” Mayor Graham will be 76 years old at the end of this four-year term. Though his age was never mentioned during the race, some observers thought it may become a stumbling block for the campaign. Apparently not.

Vienna 4 was Mayor Graham’s biggest supporter. Vote totals from the four precincts included:

Vienna 2 : Graham 238 (58%), Amick 173 (42%).

Vienna 3: Graham 182 (57%), Amick 138 (43%).

Vienna 4: Graham 297 (61%), Amick 192 (39%).

Vienna 5: Graham 296 (54%), Amick 256 (46%).

The opposite situation occurred in the race for the Scottsburg clerk-treasurer’s office. Democrat and incumbent Jan Hardy won by a large margin over Republican challenger Tonja Caudill, the city’s utility office manager. It was Caudill’s first time to enter a local political race.

Hardy garnered more votes than Graham, 1,177, to Caudill’s 588, making that margin of success 67% to 33%.

In City Council races, Democrat District 1 candidate Stanley L. Allen became City Councilman-Elect Allen. He had no opposition because his Republican opponent, Brandon Polley, dropped out of the race. Polley moved out of District 1 this past summer.

Incumbent Democrat Bill Hoagland handily won another term as the District 2 Councilman against Republican John B. Corbin. Vote counts were 224 for Hoagland (72%) and 89 votes (28%) for Corbin.

Democrat incumbent Karen Gricius also won her race against Republican Larry Haven. Vote counts were 295 (61%) for Gricius and 192 (39%) for Haven, a local businessman.

The race in District 4 was a heart-stopper, however.

Chuck Rose, an elementary principal in Scott School District 2 and a former councilman, won by just three votes over Daniel Paden, a medical helicopter pilot and U.S. Army veteran. Rose, the Democrat, received 280 votes or 50.27%. Paden, the Republican, received 277 votes or 49.73%.

Despite its closeness, there’s been no talk of a recount in that race, advised County Clerk Missy Applegate.

John Konkler is the heir-apparent for Terry Amick’s old at-large seat on the city council. The Republican received 901 votes versus Democrat Stella Amick’s 854 votes or a margin of 51% to 49%.

Konkler’s win makes him the only Republican city councilman for Scottsburg for the next four years.

In the Scottsburg election, Vienna 5 had the most voters turn out to cast ballots, 38%. Vienna 4 had 33%, Vienna 2, 30%, and Vienna 3, 25%.

The Austin election was barely an election, with the only race being that of Republican City Councilman John White vying for the mayor’s job against Dillo Bush, the Democrat who has held the clerk-treasurer’s job there for the past nearly 16 years.

It turned out to be a “no-win” situation for the Republican, with White only getting 88 votes to Bush’s 406. Percentages were 18% to 82%.

Chris Fugate is the former city councilman who decided to run for the Democrat nomination as clerk-treasurer last spring and won against two opponents. He was unopposed by a Republican and slid into office after receiving 424 votes.

Nor were any of the Democrat candidates opposed for their seats on what will be a brand new City Council for Austin starting January 1.

The Council’s two at-large seats will be occupied by Shane E. Deaton, who received 326 votes, and Staci Mullins, who got 365 votes.

Brandon Glenn White received 97 votes for the District 1 seat. Johnnie L. White had 142 votes from District 2 voters. In District 3, a former Austin clerk-treasurer, Don Campbell, will be on the Council. He got 167 votes.

The lack of races in Austin apparently caused a lot of voter apathy. Jennings 2 had the highest turnout with 177 for 16%. Jennings 3’s turnout was 15% with 196 votes cast. Jennings 1 has a turnout of 11% with 124 people voting.

Overall, the average turnout for the city elections combined was 25%. A total of 2,298 votes were counted, with a reported 1,000 or so votes coming from absentee ballots.