By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
---- — In what has become the norm in recent years, a low registered voter turnout (31.62 percent) decided a number of contested races in Monday’s Primary election.
In the most contested race with five candidates seeking the GOP nod in the Rush County Sheriff race, former ISP post commander Steve Comer outdistanced ISP trooper Mike Ooley by 53 votes. The final results were: Comer 1,223 votes (35.39 percent), Ooley 1,170 votes (33.85 percent), Steve Houston 501 votes (14.5 percent), Monty McMahan 301 votes (8.71 percent) and Richard Gosser 261 votes (7.55 percent).
“When the absentee votes came in, I was pleasantly surprised that I was slightly ahead. When the Rushville city votes came in I fell a little behind, but I didn’t lose much ground,” Comer said. “I kind of felt that the county was going to be my strongest point.”
“I have to give credit to all my colleagues in the race. All of the candidates did a great job. All of us were more than qualified. I know that made it a tough decision for the voters,” Comer added.
In the race for county recorder, Kevin Spilman won handily with 2,439 votes (73.20 percent) over Bev Buhler 893 (26.80 percent).
“Yes, I was surprised at the margin of victory. You never know how it is going to go,” Spilman said. “I would like to thank those that voted for me and my wife and my friends for their support. This will be a new challenge and a new phase in my life. I’m looking forward to it.”
Three county council districts seats were contested.
Gerald Mohr received more votes 321 (39.05 percent) than challengers Phillip Gordon 265 (32.24 percent) and Krissi Williams 236 (28.71 percent) in the District 1 race.
The District 2 race found first time candidate Milroy resident Steve McCorkle winning with 390 votes (51.93 percent ) over incumbent Jerry Kent 361 (48.07 percent).
The District 3 race had four candidates with first time candidate Scott Barnes on top. Barnes garnered 353 votes (37.24 percent), Jeff Sherwood 301 (31.75 percent), Mark Angle 169 (17.83 percent) and Danny Matthews 125 (13.19 percent).
The only other contested race was for the Rushville Township Advisory board with four candidates seeking three positions. Voters selected Paul Sutton 878 (27.73 percent), Ashley Niedenthal 836 votes (26.41 percent) and Aaron Gurley 834 votes (26.34 percent) with Jodi Harr receiving 618 votes for (19.52 percent).
Marlene Fudge 44 votes (57.89 percent) bested Teresa Fey 32 votes (42.11 percent) in the race for Richland Township Trustee.
In uncontested races: Judge Brian Hill - Rush County Superior Court, Phil Caviness - Rush County Prosecutor, Paul Wilkinson - Rush County Commissioner Northern District, Mary Ann Bridges - Rush County Assessor, Janet Kile - county council district 4, Karen Jenkins - Anderson Township Trustee, William (Bill) Ward - Anderson Township advisory , Jerry Cain - Center Township Trustee, Doug Hall, Dennis Peggs and James (Jim) Powers - Center Township Advisory, Donna Wall - Jackson Township Trustee, George Bird, Denise Dora an Robert Newhouse - Jackson Township Advisory, Julia Coon - Noble Township Trustee, Dale Hartwell, Patti Hedrick and Cathy Smith – Noble Township Advisory, Barbara Richey - Orange Township Trustee, Carl Harcourt- Orange Township Advisory, Lurinda Smith - Posey Township Trustee, J.B. Gardner and Rita Keaton – Posey Township Advisory, Craig Angle, Mary Carroll and Larry Johnson – Richland Township Advisory, Tara Hancock – Ripley Township Trustee, Mark White – Ripley Township Advisory, Britt Buhler – Rushville Township Trustee, Kathy Foreman – Union Township Trustee, Carolyn Keith, Wayne Munson and William Richardson – Union County Advisory, Mike Mahan – Walker Township Trustee, Angela Leising and Donna Webster – Walker Township Advisory and Eric Elwell Washington Township Trustee.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.