Barrett wins clerk-treasurer nod; incumbent council members fend off challengers

People check in to vote for the primary election inside the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Elkhart on Tuesday afternoon.

ELKHART — The nomination for city clerk went to Debra Barrett on Tuesday night, with about 65 percent of the votes cast, in her race against fellow Republican Ronda Bilancio. 

The two were competing for a seat being vacated by longtime Clerk Sue Beadle. 

A delay in compiling the votes left candidates hanging Tuesday night. Less than half of the votes had been counted by 9 p.m. when a batch from Elkhart arrived in Goshen.

Election officials had no immediate explanation for the delay.

All the incumbent city council members who faced challenges in the primary election Tuesday fended off their same-party opponents and won a chance to run in the fall, according to preliminary results announced by election officials. 

In the 1st District, Richard Shively won the Republican nomination with about 58 percent of the vote over challenger Steve Gruber with about 40 percent. Shively will face Democrat Gerry Roberts in the general election. 

Brian Thomas, the councilman in District 2, won with about 69 percent of the vote over fellow Republicans Roger Cotterman with 16 percent and Kraig Grover with 14 percent. Thomas will be contested in the fall by Democrat Andrew Stryker.

In the 4th District, Democratic incumbent Dwight Fish won about about 46 percent of the vote to defeat Ron Troyer with 32 percent and James Little with 21 percent. No Republican has filed for the seat. 

Republican incumbent Pam Kurpgeweit won the nomination with about 58 percent of the vote over challenger Rich Stauffer with about 41 percent. Kurpgeweit will face Democrat Tonda Hines in the fall election.

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