GOSHEN — Republicans dominated the polls on Election Day in the race for three at-large seats on the Elkhart County Council.
Incumbents John Letherman and David Ashe will return to the council for another four years. They will be joined by fellow Republican Tom Stump, who will leave his seat on the Goshen City Council. Democrats Mike Settles and Ralph Spelbring fell short of the votes they needed to grab a spot on the county board.
Next year will mark Letherman’s seventh term serving on the county council. He had about 24 percent of the county’s votes. Letherman, who celebrated his victory with fellow GOP candidates in Elkhart, said he hopes to develop good relationships with the new slate of local and state officials to solve local option income tax problems and road funding issues.
Ashe will come back to the county council for a second term. He garnered almost 24 percent of the votes in the race.
“I’m looking forward to continue working with a good group of guys and continue to work our way through these financial difficulties we’re in right now,” Ashe said. “We will continue to look at ways to come up with money we need to repair roads and do what we need to do to provide good safety and quality of life.”
Letherman and Ashe said Stump will be a welcome addition to the county council. Stump, who received roughly 24 percent of the votes, said he looks forward to serving on the county council and improving the relationship between the county and the cities, especially to work out local transportation problems.
Settles had about 15 percent of the votes in the race, and Spelbring came in last with 12.5 percent of the votes. Settles, who watched the election results at the Knights of Columbus hall in Elkhart, said though he won’t be serving on the county council, he plans to find ways to advocate for nonprofit groups and other “institutions of compassion.”