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Election Update: Big Changes Coming to Our Small Towns (nod to John Mellencamp)

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:

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:

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.