Thursday May 8, 2014
The most popular elected official in Elkhart County?
That would be U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, the Republican from the Jimtown area who represents north central Indiana in the U.S. House. The one-term incumbent garnered 12,011 votes here in the primary election Tuesday, more than anyone else on the Elkhart County ballot. It helps that she was unopposed in the GOP primary, but still, she beat out several other GOPers here who were also unopposed in their contests.
Next on the popularity list here (gauging by votes garnered): Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers, a Republican (11,547 votes) and Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill, also a Republican (11,206 votes). Rogers is going for his second term, Hill seeks his fourth term.
A few more bits and pieces from Tuesday's vote:
Closest race: Excluding town and township races, the Concord Community Schools property tax hike referendum question won by the narrowest number of votes, 80. In the end, 1,967 said yes, 1,887 said no.
Next was the District 48 Indiana House race, where the top two finishers in the Republican primary were separated by 95 votes. Doug Miller won, garnering 2,076 votes, and Jesse Bohannon (who hasn't yet conceded and is mulling his options) finished next with 1,981.
Fewest votes: The dubious honor of garnering the fewest votes in Elkhart County goes to the lone Democratic candidate for the District 82 Indiana House seat, Mike Wilber, who mustered just seven backers. Only Benton Township in southeastern Elkhart County is included in District 82, which is centered further east in Noble County. The lone GOP candidate is incumbent David Ober, who garnered 172 votes in Elkhart County.
Foutz dynasty: Two-term incumbent Dave Foutz won the GOP primary, unopposed, for the District 1 seat on the Elkhart County Council. His wife, Carole Foutz, was the top vote-getter in the race for one of three spots on the Osolo Township Board.
Both face election in November, but with no Democrats running, little stands in the path to victory for each. This is Carole Foutz's first bid for elective office. Is a family political dynasty forming?
Democratic U.S. House race: Joe Bock, winner in the four-way Democratic primary for the 2nd District U.S. House post, had a much stronger showing than Brendan Mullen did in winning the Democratic primary in 2012:
- Bock won 58.1 percent of the vote compared to 54.1 percent for Mullen two years earlier.
- Bock won the most votes among the four Democrats in nine of the 10 counties of the 2nd District. Two years ago, Dan Morrison (the second place finisher this go-round and in 2012 as well), won in nine of the 10 counties, losing to Mullen only in St. Joseph County (enough, still, to secure a win for Mullen).
- Bock won more than 50 percent of the votes in five of the 10 2nd District counties. Mullen won over half in just one, St. Joseph County. In Elkhart County, Bock garnered 52.2 percent of the vote compared to 47.6 percent here by Mullen in 2012.
- In St. Joseph County, the biggest population center of the 2nd District and a Democratic stronghold, Bock garnered 71.1 percent of the total, or 5,597 votes. Mullen, when he ran, won 60.3 percent of the vote there, or 4,602 votes.
Bob Kern of Indianapolis, curiously, won the most votes in Kosciusko County, 86 versus the 72 Bock garnered. Kern had vied, unsuccessfully, for a U.S. House spot out of Indianapolis before deciding — again, curiously — to run for the 2nd District spot. Maybe he has a political base in Kosciusko County.
More on Walorski: Walorski garnered more votes in her one-woman GOP U.S. House race in Elkhart County (12,011) than in any of the other nine counties that seep into the 2nd District. It wasn't even close.
Next was St. Joseph County, where Walorski got 4,150 votes. St. Joseph County is larger, but it leans Democratic, while Elkhart County leans Republican. In all, Walorski garnered 28,616 votes.
Walorski and Bock will face off in the November election. Libertarian Jeff Petermann of Elkhart is also running.