While there were no major national offices to vote for, voters in 37 states went to the polls yesterday to cast their ballots for Governor, State Supreme Court seats, State Legislators, and like here at home in Indiana, leaders of their cities and towns. Contrary to polling leading up to election day, Democrats won most of the “high profile” races – and often won big – across Indiana and the country.
Key stories outside of Indiana include:
- To our south, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) won re-election with 52.5% of the vote while all the other statewide races were won by Republicans – this is a state the former President Trump won by 25 points in 2020 and Trump had endorsed Beshear’s challenger, Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
- To our east, more than 56% of voters in Ohio voted “yes” to 2 separate ballot questions affirming a constitutional right to abortion in the state and supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana. These results in a state that twice voted for Trump will have people scratching their heads and watching the state closely for the next year.
- Farther away in Virginia, Democrats held on to the State Senate and flipped the House to Democrat control against the backdrop of intense campaigning from GOP Governor Glenn Youngkin, who had promised to pass more restrictive abortion measures and other conservative measures if he had a cooperative Legislature.
- Republicans did hold on to the Governor’s seat in Mississippi where Tate Reeves won re-election.
- Pennsylvania voters elected Democrat Daniel McCaffrey to the state’s Supreme Court.
- History was also made when Democrat and former Biden aide Gabe Amo became the first person of color to represent the state of Rhode Island in Congress, and Philadelphia elected their 100th Mayor, and first woman, Cherrelle Parker (who won nearly 75% of the vote).
Here at home, only Hoosiers living in cities and towns had a chance to vote. Looking at the Mayoral races in Indiana’s 20 largest cities, Democrats held onto 9 seats (Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Bloomington, Hammond, Lafayette, Gary, Muncie, Anderson, and Elkhart) and flipped 2 previously held by the GOP (Evansville and Terre Haute).
Republicans held on to their Mayoral seats – including many in the “purple” Indianapolis suburbs – in Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Greenwood, Muncie, Kokomo, Westfield, Columbus and Jeffersonville. Overall (including smaller communities), the GOP had a net gain of 5 Indiana Mayoral seats last night, flipping Angola, Delphi, Greencastle, Greendale, Marion, Linton, Loogootee, Mitchell, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Portage, Portland, Rensselaer, Richmond, and Zionsville.
Some of the bigger headlines across Indiana:
- Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski (D) won re-election to a tie-breaking 6th term while Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry (D) became the city’s first 5-term Mayor with his re-election.
- A 27-year old former Army Ranger, Brandon Sakbun (D), earned 60% of the Terre Haute vote to defeat 4-term Mayor Duke Bennett (R).
- Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett won re-election with 60% of the vote after his GOP opponent, Jefferson Shreve, spent more than $10M of his own money in his campaign.
- Unfortunately known as the home to the last public lynching in the “north” in 1930, Marion, IN voters elected Ron Morrell, the city’s first black Mayor and the state’s first black Republican Mayor.
- Indiana will get a 6th new Legislator since the end of the 2023 session, as State Senator Eddie Melton takes the reins as the Mayor of Gary. A caucus of precinct committee members will be convened in the coming weeks to name his replacement.
- State Representative Ed Clere was unsuccessful in his bid to become Mayor of New Albany as incumbent Jeff Gahan was re-elected. Clere will continue to serve in the Indiana House.
The big news in the Evansville region was Stephanie Terry’s victory to become Evansville’s first female and first black Mayor. Terry is currently a member of the County Council and the Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Evansville. She defeated Republican Natalie Rascher, who had won the GOP Primary against County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave, and Independent Michael Daugherty. Terry should have a very cooperative City Council to work with, too, as Democrats won 8 of the 9 Council seats. The new Council will be:
- 1st Ward: Incumbent Ben Trockman (61% of the vote)
- 2nd Ward: Incumbent Missy Mosby (66% of the vote)
- 3rd Ward: Incumbent Zac Heronemus (61% of the vote)
- 4th Ward: Incumbent Alex Burton (Unchallenged)
- 5th Ward: Incumbent – and the lone Republican – Angela Koehler Lindsey (Unchallenged)
- 6th Ward: Incumbent Jim Brinkmeyer (Unchallenged)
- At-Large: New Members Mary Allen, Paul Green, and Courtney Johnson
In our other regional counties, election day brought minimal change.
- Gibson County
- Incumbent Mayors in both Princeton (Greg Wright) and Oakland City (James Deffendall) went unchallenged.
- In the contested races for Princeton City Council, voters split their ballots supporting Democrat incumbents Jan E. Ballard and Jim Maglis and challenger Dan Beard along with Republican newcomer Neil Moody.
- Republican Megan Tapley won the only contested race for the Oakland City Council
- Posey County
- Republican Steve Loehr won 90% of the vote for Mt. Vernon Mayor; this flipped the seat after Democrat Bill Curtis did not run for re-election. Republicans ran unopposed to win all of the Council districts.
- Incumbent Poseyville Clerk-Treasurer Christy Foster took 62% of the vote to keep her job and incumbents Justin Rutledge (R) and Michael Baehl (D) won re-election and will be joined on the Town Council by Jodie Rankin (R).
- New Harmony Town Council results were not readily available at this time.
- Warrick County
- Democrat Mayor Charlie Wyatt won re-election in Boonville with 56.7% of the vote and Democrat Shawn Russell won the only contested City Council seat.
- In Newburgh, incumbent Steve Shoemaker (D) won the only contested Town Council race.