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The Versailles Republican

November 6 • Headlines

Dressed as a scarecrow, Maddi Trader, daughter of Rachel Yocum and Robert Trader, was a finalist in the Versailles American Legion Halloween Costume Contest. There were over 200 who participated in the parade, despite the chilly temperatures.
About 400 people participated in the recent Dearborn County Hospital Heart and Lung Health 5K Walks. Cutting the ribbon are from left Angie Johnson, Doug Hedrick, Dennis Carr, Donnie Hastings, and Rita Fuller and her husband Tom Fuller. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Local horsemen ride at Hoosier Horse Camp. The camp is located in Norman, Indiana, on the border of Hoosier National Forest. The horse camp, HHC, owned by Tim and Linda Howder of Milan, offers seasonal, nightly camping with electric, water and primitive sites with access to over 100 miles of trails in the Hoosier National Forest. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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Tri Kappa Arts and Crafts BazaarFriendship State BankKing's Daughters' HealthWhitewater Motor Company Inc.
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Every vote counts! Sharp wins by 19 for judge
Republicans win county; Cumberworth wins sheriff

Mary Mattingly

Absentee votes made a difference in what became a nailbiter of a race for Superior Court Judge in Ripley County. Jeff Sharp, a Republican, won by a mere 19 votes over John Kellerman II. When 100 percent of the 25 precincts were counted, Kellerman was actually ahead by 34 votes. Despite being congratulated by several people, it was announced at the annex building, where many candidates and supporters had gathered to watch the election results, that absentee ballots were not all counted.

Ripley County 2014 General Election


Pictured left, candidates, office holders, council members and Superior Court Judge James Morris watch the screen as the poll results come in Tuesday at the annex building.

There were 846 absentee votes, and with that close of a race, it could change the outcome of some races. It did change the outcome for one. Kellerman ended with 3,638 votes, 49.87 percent, to Sharp’s 3,657 votes or 50.13 percent. “In a campaign this closely contested, it makes you appreciate everything everyone has done for you and that much more,” Sharp said Wednesday morning. “This shows your vote counts. I’m excited and honored to serve the county as Superior Court judge.” However, the absentee votes did not change the outcome for the other races. A rather low voter turnout, at 35.5 percent compared to 2012’s 56 percent or 2010’s, 43 percent, it became a Republican sweep for the major county races.

Jeff Cumberworth, a Republican, easily won the race for sheriff with 5,001 votes or 67 percent to Tim Sutton’s 2,364 votes, 32 percent. Sutton was not surprised. He said earlier in the evening before the votes started to come in, “I won’t win, due to being a Democrat and the straight party tickets cast.” He won two of his hometown precincts (Center 1 and 3) but those were the only ones out of 25 precincts. He was okay with not winning and complimented his opponent saying it was a fair, clean race. “I heard voters say you can’t go wrong,” he said. Cumberworth was humble Tuesday night after the precincts were tallied. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be elected.” He said he put a lot of effort in the race, campaigning door to door for over a year and a half. He too had praise for Sutton. “He’s a good guy, a good sport and ran a good campaign.” Sutton admitted he didn’t put many resources into the campaign. Many know his priorities and heart laid with his seriously ill wife Christina. He is retiring from state police work and will become an investigator for the Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard in January.

As for the judge’s race, it was not the first time Kellerman was in a close race. He won the Batesville City Judge race in a re-count by one vote in 2011. Kellerman was surrounded by family at the annex building with wife Natasha, son Gus, mom Vicki and sister Amy Streator. He spent his day at the Versailles polling site where he said a steady stream of people filtered in to vote. “It was a very positive experience. I’m glad I ran on my record.” He said he had been out every day knocking on doors since July to meet citizens. Sharp too campaigned throughout the day and watched results with family and friends.

Another big winner of the night was Ron Decker. The Republican won his first election and will sit on council for the first district. The Batesville businessman won with 52 percent of the vote or 1,041 votes over Bill Dramann, Democrat, with 937 votes, or 47 percent. Dramann spent the day with his grandson, and was concerned the straight party ticket might hurt his chances. “I really think with social media people have their minds made up and it makes no difference if they see me at the polling places.” Decker was with his daughter at the annex building and afraid to smile once it appeared the votes were all in. But, he was getting congratulation texts despite the absentee votes were not added to the total. Decker said his year on council (he was appointed to fill a seat) taught him a lot about the county, and “enough to make me really want this job.” Chad Pindell will join him as a new member on the council. The Jac-Cen-Del teacher and Republican easily won over Rachael Melton Curl with 72 percent of the votes.
Ripley County 2014 General Election - Courthouse
Pictured right, Vicki Hon and Diane Macek of the clerk’s office, with Clerk Mary Ann McCoy in the background, accept the ballot results from the precincts. Final results were released about 9:40 p.m.

In other contested races for Brown township trustee, Kenneth W. Copeland won over Janice Wittich. Cynthia Melton was the only Democrat in a contested race to win. She was re-elected trustee of Otter Creek with 222 votes or 56 percent beating out David Forwalt.

School Board

There were a couple of contested school board seats. For Batesville, Stephen Stein won the district four seat over Robert Wagner. Jac-Cen-Del had no candidate for district one, but Steve Wilhoit won with 60 percent or 745 votes for the district two seat over Joyce Marie Muckerheide. James Westerman was unopposed for district four. Milan School board, Tim Tuttle won the at large seat over Jeremy Vinup. He’ll join Greg Lewis, who ran unopposed for the Franklin seat, and Michael Brandes who won with 47 percent of the votes over challengers Randy Kirk and Amy Phillips for the Washington seat. South Ripley school board had a contested race with John Cairns and Steve Patrick, with Patrick getting the seat with 1,165 votes or 76 percent. Robert Garcia, Becky Turner and Tim Taylor also won for their unopposed seats for South Ripley. A few precincts in Ripley County could vote for Sunman-Dearborn school board candidates. They chose John Maxwell over Roll Hollowell, and Maxwell ended up winning the seat when the Dearborn County votes were factored in. Unopposed candidates Dawn Disbro Burke and Michael Norman were also re-elected to serve on the school board.

County Races
Many of the races for county offices were unopposed. Bob Linville was unopposed for commissioner seat, district one. This was the seat held by Robert Reiners for many years but he chose not to run. Bill Wagner was re-elected auditor, Shawna Bushhorn, assessor; Ed Armbrecht, council member; Patricia Dephane Smith, council seat district two; and Jeff French surveyor. Ric Hertel was re-elected as prosecutor, but his chief deputy prosecutor Ryan King was elected to serve as judge on the circuit court. Osgood town had a contested election and Linda Krinop won with 227 votes over Norman Kappes, a Democrat. He had 206 votes.

State, District Races
The statehouse will see a new face come January. Chip Perfect, a Republican, won the district 43 senate race. In Ripley County, he had 76 percent of the vote over Democrat Rudy Howard. The seat was open when Johnny Nugent announced he wouldn’t run again. Randy Frye, district 67, was unopposed and was re-elected. Luke Messer easily won Ripley County and the rest of his district for US Congress. Cindy Ziemke was re-elected as a state representative for district 55. She won over Glenn Bailey. The Republican candidates for state auditor, treasurer and secretary all won their respective races. Connie Lawson will be secretary of state and Suzanne Crouch as auditor, both had been appointed. Kelly Mitchell won the treasurer seat. Throughout the state, senate Republicans gained three seats in the chamber, making the margin wider at 40-10. Nationally, Republicans won more senate races, giving the party the majority edge in congress.

Voter Turnout
The turnout was better than the May Primary at 21 percent. Of 21,256 registered voters, 7,560 cast a ballot. Of those, 1,247 were straight party ballots for the Republicans and 431 for the Democrats. Ripley County Clerk Mary Ann McCoy said the election “went pretty good.” The absentee and precinct votes were all counted and balanced by 9:40 p.m. “The girls (in her office) did a marvelous job,” McCoy said. Absentee ballots are typically tallied at the end of the precinct ballot counting, she said.

Pick up this week's edition of The Versailles Republican for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Complete election results in Ripley County (page 8)
• Students prepare to honor veterans
• Rod Hite named District 10 middle school principal

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