GOP sweeps races in Wabash County

By Joseph Slacian

Nearly 70 percent of the registered voters in Wabash County cast ballots in the 2020 General Election. In the end, as expected, the Republican Party easily won the contested state and national races here.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence defeated Democrat Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, 10,762-3,494. Libertarian Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen received 317 votes.

The Trump-Pence ticket, as expected, won Indiana, receiving 58.6 percent (1,583,196 votes) to Biden-Harris’ 39.2 percent (1,059,714) and Jorgensen-Cohen’s 2 percent (53,532 votes).

Gov. Eric Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch defeated Democrat Dr. Woody Myers and Linda Lawson, 9,111-2,421.

Libertarian Donald Rainwater and William Henry, who outpolled the Democratic ticket, received 2,979 votes.

Statewide, Holcomb and Crouch received 58.2 percent (833,653 votes) to Myers-Lawson’s 29.6 percent (424,753 votes) and Rainwater-Henry’s 12.2 percent (174,583 votes).

"Let me just say at the outset that I had a very good conversation with Dr. Myers, and I thanked him for stepping up and stepping forward and offering an option - offering a real contribution for the conversation we're having as Hoosiers," Holcomb said Tuesday night.

On his Facebook page, Myers wrote, “I ran because I knew we could be better, and that we could do more— more for those who have so little, more for those who need so much.

“I announced my candidacy before we’d ever heard of COVID-19 and before we had seen the murder of George Floyd— and both intensified my desire to offer an alternative to the status quo for all Hoosiers.

“There are many to thank – those on my team, those who supported our campaign and those who tweeted, retweeted, called, texted, and carried our messages forward to all who would listen. Thank you."

Republican Todd Rokita defeated Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel, 10,628-3,402, for attorney general.

Statewide, Rokita received 58.6 percent (1,645,924 votes) to Weinzapfel’s 41.2 percent (1,115,135 votes). The two were competing for the seat now held by Curtis Hill. Hill lost the GOP nomination to Rokia following allegations that Hill groped several women.

Incumbent Jackie Walorski defeated Democrat challenger Patricia Hackett, 10,913-3,370, for the U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District seat.

Walorski, in comments on her Facebook page, wrote “Hoosiers - From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity to serve you! There is no greater honor.

I'm proud how we've stood together during this unprecedented time. While there are still challenges ahead, I'm confident we will overcome together.

I remain steadfast in defending Hoosier values and fighting for you.”

Hackett, addressing her supporters on Facebook, said, “Regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s election, our path forward as a nation and in this congressional district remains a renewed commitment to dignity and justice for all, not the few.

Additionally, our path forward requires the reclaiming of our voice and values in Washington. We must reclaim our Constitutional and moral authority as we the people if our nation is to continue and contribute internationally toward the common good.”

Throughout the district, Walorski received 64.7 percent (171,773) to Hackett’s 35.3 percent (93,922).

Republican Craig Snow defeated Wabash County resident Chad Harris, 10,699-3,430, for the Indiana House District 18 seat being vacated by David Wolkins, who chose not to seek re-election having represented the district since 1988.

Snow easily won all four of the counties that the district represents, finishing with 78.1 percent (22,631 votes) to Harris’ 21.9 percent (6,350 votes).

All of Wabash County’s offices were uncontested. Winning those seats were Benjamin Vanderpool, Superior Court Judge; Marcie Shepherd, Wabash County Auditor; Luann Layman, Wabash County Treasurer; Ken Brown, Wabash County Coroner; Cheri Slee, Wabash County Surveyor; Brian Haupert, Wabash County Commissioner, District 1; Barry Eppley, Wabash County Commissioner District 2; Philip Dale, Matt Dillon and Lorissa Sweet, Wabash County Council At-Large seats.

Manchester Community Schools’ three seats for the school board all had contested races.

Winners were:

Boyd Brubaker over Anthony “Andy” Ayres, 1,845-1,421, for the Chester Township seat.

Robert Bucher topped a five-person field, garnering 836 votes for the Town of North Manchester seat. Others receiving votes were: Brice Bedke, 747; Margaret “Meg” Gardinier, 637; C. Russell “Russ” Reahard, 628; and Kent Ulrey, 560.

In the race for the Pleasant Township seat, Brian Ramer defeated David Kewish, 1,821-1,109.

In the lone race for the MSD of Wabash County school board, Christian Rosen defeated incumbent Todd Topliff, 3,888-1,079, for the Northeast District seat.

Scott Haupert and Kevin Bowman were unopposed for the Northwest and South district seats, respectively.

In the various court questions on the ballot, voters opted to retain all those in question.

Judges on the ballot were Chris Goff, Indiana Supreme Court; Cale Bradford, Indiana Court of Appeals District 2; Melissa May, Indiana Court of Appeals District 4, and Elaine Brown and Margaret Robb, Indiana Court of Appeals District 5.

In all, 5,083 straight party tickets were cast for the Republican Party, while 977 straight party tickets for the Democratic Party were cast. The Libertarian Party had 17 straight party votes.

There were 14,764 votes cast in the 2020 election, or 69.20 percent of the registered voters.

“I’m not sure if it is the largest amount ever, but it’s the largest in the last 10 years,” Wabash County Clerk Lori Draper told The Paper of Wabash County.

Surprisingly, there were just 4,197 votes cast on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the actual election day. The remaining votes, 10,567, were cast either via absentee ballot or early voting.

“I was surprised that Tuesday only had 4,200 people,” Draper said. “Knowing how many had early voted, I expected a low number but thought it would be 6,000 to 7,000.”

Overall, there were no voting-related problems at the six vote centers around Wabash County.

“The polling places ran smoothly,” Draper said. “We cannot require masks of voters or party workers, and some voters felt uncomfortable that a few people choose not to wear a mask. It is a state mandate that masks be worn, but this was a federal election.”

She praised all those who worked at polling places throughout the election.

“The poll workers and the early vote absentee workers are heroes to me,” Draper said. “They worked hard to provide a smooth election in a pandemic crisis. They are awesome.”

Posted on 2020 Nov 10