The Municipal Election results from Starke County show that it was a breakthrough for the Republicans in the Democrat stronghold of North Judson and a new City Councilman in Knox was elected.
In the most thrilling race of the night, Republican Donna Henry defeated Incumbent Democrat Connie Miller for the North Judson Town Clerk-Treasurer position with a vote of 221 to 217. Henry waged a vigorous door-to-door campaign, visiting many of the homes numerous times. She was asked what did it for her.
“We worked hard and I had a lot of support from the Republican committee and my family and from the North Judson residents,” she said. “I’m just thankful. I want to thank all of the North Judson residents who came out and exercised their right to vote. I especially want to thank all of those who supported me. I want to thank my family and the Republican committee.”
North Judson Democrat Town Board President Dan Anderson was beaten by Republican challenger Tim Cummins 276-162. A first time candidate, Cummins said it was fun campaigning and meeting so many nice people.
“You come up with people who have a story to tell and so you have to spend the time to listen to the story and move on from there,” said Cummins. “I think we had a pretty good turnout comparatively with the rain and I’m just so pleased and thankful that the people did come out and voted for me. I’m also thankful for the Republican committee and my family who had to put up with a lot.”
For a seat on the Knox City Council, businessman Democrat Donald Kring swept to victory over Republican Thomas Morin 321-86. Kring will fill the seat of current Democrat President Ed Blue. At party headquarters, Kring said he wore out a lot of shoe leather.
“I’ve been told numerous times that door-to-door is the way to go and we did that,” said Kring. “I have to thank my wife. She was there every day when I went door-to-door and we went to over a thousand homes. You think you know everybody in a small town, but there are a lot of people who I met that had a lot of different ideas and concerns. There’s a lot of people!”
In Hamlet, the new Clerk-Treasurer will be Democrat Kristina Pitts. She defeated Republican Debra Goble 75-55. Pitts will be taking over the office from Neva Johnson who decided not to run for another term. In the lone Town Board race, Republican David Kesvormas defeated Democrat Dean Goble 79-51. Kesvormas talked about his victory over Dean Goble.
“I just think people want to see some change and progress and have to see what’s going on continue,” commented Kesvormas. “I think things will change. It’s evident and it’s the writing on the wall. I think that people will see a huge change in the next 24 months.”
In Winamac, Republican Melanie A. (Parish) Berger will take over from long-time Clerk-Treasurer Judy Heater. Berger defeated Democrat David Weber 205-53.
In Medaryville, Republican Carolyn Hager, won a seat on the town council. She will join the two other top vote getters who include Incumbent Democrat and current Board President Gene Payne and Democrat Derrick Staulbaum who is new to the Board. Payne received 77 votes, Stalbaum 56, and Hager 52. Two other candidates in the race, Democrat Nema Wireman received 50 votes and Republican Raymond Saltsman received 48 votes.
In Francesville, all of the incumbents won. Marla Dawson was chosen as the Town Clerk-Treasurer, while Andy Durham, Kyle Trent, and Pamela Antrim (all
Republicans) swept to victory. Marla Dawson defeated Independent candidate Keith Schladenhauffen 153-69. Durham received 175 votes, Trent 172 votes and Antrim 157.
Independent Walter Craig did not make it onto the Francesville Town Council with 126 votes.
Almost 40% of the eligible voters turned out in Francesville and 28.14% of the voters voted in Medaryville.
The four Monroe Townships that voted in the Winamac race made up approximately 15% of the vote.