Well it was an election night that’s probably never been experienced before in the history of Dubois County politics.
After more than an hour and a half of vote tallying, the race for the office of mayor for the city of Jasper ended last night in a tie.
After all precincts in the city were counted incumbent Republican Mayor Terry Seitz and Democratic challenger Wayne Schuetter finished in a deadlock with an official 1856 votes apiece, a percentage of 47.57 percent of the vote for both. Independent candidate Joshua Budd finished this years election with a total of 190 tallies.
Now with the tie comes a number of decisions and procedures to be made over possibly the next two months to determine who will take over as Jasper’s leader come January 1st.
In a case such as this, the next step by Indiana Law will be for Dubois County Clerk Bridgette Jarboe to send the final election results to the Indiana State Election Board to certify those results.
At that point both Seitz and Schuetter will have the option to purse a petition process calling for a recount. If either would decide to go that route, they would be required to go though a court process asking for that recount paying any fees out of their own pocket.
If not, and the election is indeed certified by the state, the task of naming the official winner will be in the hands of the CURRENT Jasper City Council, not the governing city body that will take over after the first of the year.
Now despite the unprecedented turn of events and flurry of activity Tuesday night, both candidates were thrilled to have experienced what turned out a night never witness before.
Seitz says he’s proud of how his campaign for re-election went along and says he hopes to continue his vision.
Meanwhile like many, Schuetter says he expected a close race, but not this close. He says Tuesday night’s turn of events proves that every vote counts.
Now if the election would come down to the council and if you’re looking at a vote of perhaps down party lines, the Jasper 7 member council currently consists of 4 democrats and 3 republicans.
By Indiana state code either way a decision must be made by December 31st.
JASPER COUNCIL RACES
Now in other election results from last night more history was made perhaps for the city of Jasper. Come January 1st the Jasper City Council for what is believed to be the first time ever will be republican controlled.
In contested council races republican challengers Nancy Eckerle and Dean Vonderheide will take over the council’s two at large seats. Eckerle was the top vote getter among the four contenders with 32.8 percent of the vote. Vonderheide finished second with 25 and a half percent.
The lone at-large incumbent, democrat Randy Buchta, was third at 23 percent. Fellow democrat Alex Emmons had 18 percent. A second at-large member Ray Howard did not run.
In the council district 3 race republican John Bell handily defeated democrat Adam Auffart by a margin of 63 to 37 percent. That seat will be vacated by Dave Prechtel.
Bell says he’s not only is he happy with the days results but also happy for those who supported his campaign.
Meanwhile the district 4 seat currently held by 40-year member Tom Schmidt goes to Dave Hurst who defeated republican Brittany Brockman 62 to 38 percent.
Republican Kevin Manley and democrats Greg Schnarr and Earl Schmitt were un-opposed as was
current clerk-treasurer Juanita Boehm.
The Jasper council will now consists of 4 republicans and 3 democrats.
Election action may not have been as crazy in other parts of the county as it was in Jasper last night.
In the city of Huntingburg Republican incumbent Mayor Denny Spinner punched his ticket to another 4 years at city hall.
Spinner defeated democrat challenger and former police chief Ron Drew by a final vote of 793 to 447 for a difference of 64 to 36 percent.
Spinner says he ready for what’s store for the city the next four years.
In other contested races in Huntingburg last night, Independent Tim Wehr defeated Republican Vicki Lewis in a close contest 52 to 48 percent for the lone at-large seat.
The only other contested council seat was for District 3 as republican incumbent Steve McPherron defeated democrat challenger Tina Dearing by a difference of 60 to 40 percent of the vote.
Republicans Glenn Kissling, Jeffery Bounds and Independent Kerry Blessinger as well as incumbent Clerk-Treasurer Tom Dipple all were un-opposed.
The Huntingburg City Council will consist of 3 republican and 2 independent members.
And finally in the town of Ferdinand’s current Town Council President Ken Sicard was elected to another term.
The democrat defeated independent challenger Don Farina by a decisive 75 to 25 percent of the vote.
Sicard was appreciative of the support he received through the campaign. He says theres plenty for the Ferdinand community to look forward to.
The battle between Sicard and Farina was the first contested race for a Ferdinand Council seat in the last 16 years.
The two other incumbent council members, Debbie Johnson and Ron Weyer as well as Clerk-Treasurer Bev Schulthise all ran un-opposed.
All in all 36 percent of the over 16-thousand registered voters in Dubois County took part in yesterdays municipal elections.