By CHRIS MORRIS
FLOYD COUNTY —
At 5:45 Tuesday morning, Dana Fendley made her way to Floyds Knobs Elementary School to begin her Election Day campaign. She said there was only one other candidate there with her. It happened to be her opponent, Democrat Jim Freiberger.
“No one else was campaigning but us. He worked really hard, and I feel bad for him,” Fendley said.
Fendley, a Republican, collected 4,298 votes to Freiberger’s 3,542 votes — 54.8 percent to 45 percent — to win the Floyd County Council District 2 race. Fendley previously served as an at-large member on the council before losing in 2008. This was Freiberger’s first attempt at public office.
Fendley said the swing to the right nationally was definitely felt in Floyd County. All three contested council races were won by Republicans.
“There is no doubt about it,” said Fendley as she celebrated at the River City Winery where Republicans gathered. “But I worked hard and did everything I possibly could.”
Fendley will replace Democrat Larry McAllister in January. He did not seek re-election.
Freiberger didn’t want to blame his loss on the Republican landslide nationally.
“I guess I didn’t work hard enough,” he said.
Both Lana Aebersold and John Schellenberger cruised to easy victories in the Floyd County Council District 3 and 4 races. Aebersold picked up 59 percent of the votes to beat Democrat Kevin Evans, 3,289 votes to 2,252 votes in the District 3 race.
Aebersold will be serving her third full term on the council, and said she worked hard throughout the campaign.
“I went to every polling location today, and talked to a lot of people,” she said. “I was not nervous. I felt good.”
Aebersold said she will not vote for any new tax in her next term, and said she will work as hard as she can for the residents of Floyd County.
“A lot of people told me they were Democrats but they weren’t voting Democrat this time,” she said. “There was a big voter turnout, and I think that was good for the Republicans.”
Evans said he was “very disappointed” with the outcome.
“Team Evans worked very hard,” he said. “If anything I thought it would be a lot closer, but I am not giving up.”
Democrats still hold a 4-3 lead on the council. Democrat Tom Pickett ran unopposed in the District 1 race Tuesday.
Like Aebersold, Schellenberger had an easy victory in his bid for re-election. The Republican collected 5,312 votes — 62.5 percent — to Voyles’ 3,185 votes for the District 4 seat.
Despite the easy win, Schellenberger said he never felt confident about Tuesday’s election.
“I take every election seriously,” he said. “I worked up until the last day. I think the national mood was with us.”