Wayne County’s current auditor and one of its longtime commissioners lost the May 3 primary election, meaning their terms will come to an end in December.
However, voters chose to continue with their current Republican Indiana state representative and a county council member representing western Wayne County.
At this time, none of the four face a Democratic opponent in the fall.
Results at a glance
In contested Republican races:
*A former Wayne County auditor and business manager of Northeastern Wayne Schools, Mark Holescher, defeated current auditor Kimberly Whipple Walton with 51.52 percent of the vote. Hoelscher had 2,295 votes compared to Walton’s 2,160.
*Brad Dwenger, a political newcomer who began preparing for his race last summer, received 67.90 percent of the vote over Ken Paust, who has served in county and City of Richmond positions for several decades.
*Beth Leisure of Milton, who represents District 3 on Wayne County Council, defeated challenger Carol A. Study of Cambridge City with nearly 72 percent of the vote.
*Rep. Brad Barrett earned 74.30 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Mark Pierce.
*Wayne Township returned all three of its incumbent board members (Marilyn A. Sowers, Terri E. Smith and Diane Dwyer Blackwell). Challenger Rick Galloway came in fourth place.
*Republicans had eight candidates compete for state convention delegate, and could choose as many as six. In order, the top vote-getters were former Wayne County Sheriff Matt Strittmatter, current State Sen. Jeff Raatz, former Richmond Common Council member Misty Hollis, Brad Dwenger, local attorney Bob Bever and current Richmond councilwoman Jane Bumbalough. Steve Rabe and Trent Daniel Reichley did not get selected.
Strittmatter had the most votes (1,991) and Reichley had the fewest (1,165).
Democrats preparing for fall contests
A couple of Democrats ran uncontested in the primary (Ron Itnyre for State Senate District 27 and Cassandra Brown for Wayne Township Trustee) and will face a GOP competitor (current Sen. Jeff Raatz and current Wayne Township Trustee Susan Isaacs, respectively).
Although there were no local contested races on the Democratic ticket in the primary, Democrats had two choices for their candidate to face current U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (District 6) in the fall.
Wayne County Democrats chose Cynthia “Cinde” Wirth for District 6 with 73 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, nearly 81 percent of Wayne County Republicans chose Pence for the fall ballot.
How many voters?
When combining absentee, early voting and Election Day voting, 5,570 ballots were cast since early April.
However, more than half – or 3,329 – were cast Tuesday at the county’s eight vote centers.
Read reactions from the candidates in the May 11 print edition of Western Wayne News.
Full election results can be found at http://co.wayne.in.us/clerk/election/