Western Wayne Schools will receive more funding and several familiar faces could be returning to county government after Tuesday’s primary election.
A majority of voters living in the Western Wayne Schools district (64.5 percent) voted yes for the school levy to increase property taxes to offset declining income for schools as enrollment numbers decrease. Proponents were concerned about cuts that would need to be made if more revenue did not come in.
The levy passed with 662 votes, with 364 against.
The GOP race for District 3 commissioner was the area’s tightest, with Jeff Plasterer receiving 44.5 percent of the vote over Brad Robinson with 42.4 percent and Jack D. Study with 13.1 percent. Plasterer earned the lead by 128 votes, with 2,694 over Robinson’s 2,566 and Study’s 795.
Current District 2 commissioner Mary Anne Butters won the Republican nomination by 212 votes over former commissioner Doug Williamson. Butters received 2,504 votes to Williamson’s 2,292. Political newcomer Larry Fouche had 1,183 votes, or 19.8 percent.
The four-way GOP race for three county council seats was close.
Incumbent Gerald “Gary” Saunders had the most votes with 4,365, or 28.27 percent of the vote. Second place went to former county commissioner Max Smith, with 3,654 votes (25.52 percent). The third spot on the ballot went to current county treasurer Cathy Williams, with 3,654 votes, or 23.66 percent. Incumbent Rodger Smith received 3,482 votes, or 22.55 percent.
Former coroner Kevin Fouche won the Republican primary with 52.3 percent of the vote, compared to current deputy coroner Wayne Loudy Jr., with 47.7 percent. Fouche won by 273 votes.
Current county clerk Debra Berry will be the Republican candidate in the fall, earning 65.8 percent of the vote (3,941) over challenger Tara Pegg. Pegg works in the voter registration office and received 2,046 votes, or 34.2 percent.
Berry will face Democrat C. Yvonne Washington in the fall contest, who received 2,988 votes Tuesday.
Several Republicans had no challenger in the primary, including treasurer candidate Nancy Funk, incumbent judges Gregory Horn (Superior Court No. 2) and Darrin Dolehanty (Superior Court No. 3) and surveyor Gordon Moore.
There’s still time for Democrat and Libertarian candidates to file to run in the fall election for offices that only had a Republican candidate in the primary.
A total of 9,751 ballots were cast in Wayne County, with 4,308 cast Tuesday and 2,591 cast in previous days at vote centers. The county also had 2,852 absentee ballots cast.
For president, Donald Trump received 91.7 percent of the county’s Republican vote (5,617) over Bill Weld with 8.3 percent (506).
Wayne County Democrats chose Joe Biden with 76.93 percent of the vote (2,564 ballots), with the next highest total going to Bernie Sanders, with 493 votes or 14.79 percent. Elizabeth Warren and Indiana’s Pete Buttigieg were next, with 97 and 92, respectively. Other candidates receiving votes were Michael Bloomberg (25), Amy Klobuchar (23), Andrew Yang (!4), Tulsi Gabbard (13) and Tom Steyer (12).
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, faced no competition in the primary and received 5,861 votes. He will face Democrat Woodrow “Woody” Myers in the fall. Myers received 2,919 votes in Wayne County.
Sixth District U.S. Rep. Greg Pence received 82.9 percent of the Republican vote compared to challenger Mike Campbell with 17.1 percent.
Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake will face Pence again in the fall. She received 68.70 percent of the county’s votes, followed by Barry Welsh (17.43 percent) and George T. Holland (13.87 percent.)
First-term Republican Brad Barrett was unopposed to represent District 56 in the Indiana House of Representatives. Barrett represents 54 of the county’s 58 precincts.
Longtime incumbent Thomas “Tom” Saunders, who represents four of the county’s precincts in the Indiana House for District 54, won with 75.6 percent of the vote over Jeff Embry.
State convention/precinct committeeman
Centerville voters had to make a choice between two candidates for Center 2 precinct committeeman. Janice Roberts received 84 votes compared to 45 for Mark Tucker.
The Hagerstown area also needed to choose six of seven delegates for the Republican state convention. By a narrow margin, they selected Chris Beeson and Gerald “Gary” Saunders, who both received 1,155 votes, or 15.71 percent of the vote, along with Denny Burns (1,061), Max Smith (1,051), Barry Ritter (1,014) and Jeff Plasterer (999), while Barbara Beeson received 919 votes.
Find more information about the election and reactions from candidates in the June 10 edition of Western Wayne News.