CLARK COUNTY —
It was a day of surprising victories in Clark County as several office holders lost or won by close margins.
David Blankenbeker was elected Clark County surveyor, with 16,318 votes, or 62.1 percent, beating incumbent Bob Isgrigg, who received 9,947 votes, or 37.9 percent.
Blankenbeker, 47, a Democrat, was overcome with emotion as he learned he had defeated Isgrigg.
“I’m overjoyed. I’m a little emotional right now. My wife brought up my mother and father, who are deceased. I know they’re looking down on me today, and I dedicate this to them,” he said as he fought back tears.
Blankenbeker previously served as surveyor from 1999-2002, but decided not to run for a second term so he could spend more time with his children.
He said his family has been in the surveying business since 1945, and his father and grandfather previously served as county surveyor. Blankenbeker said it was a hard-fought and heated race, but he felt both sides focused on the positives rather than the negatives.
Isgrigg, a former Democrat who ran this time as a Libertarian, was seeking his fifth term as county surveyor.
“I am disappointed. The voters had an opportunity to keep someone in there who was looking out for them,” Isgrigg said.
Isgrigg said he would analyze the results Wednesday to determine what happened, but he believes that he lost many votes running as a Libertarian since many people voted straight-line Republican or Democratic tickets.
According to election results, there were 6,899 straight Democratic voters and 6,749 straight Republican voters.
Businessman elected treasurer in first run
David Reinhardt was elected Clark County treasurer with 16,874 votes, or 52.7 percent, beating Janet Hurst, who received 15,171 votes, or 47.3 percent.
Reinhardt, 55, a small business owner from Jeffersonville, had never run for office and had modest expectation when entering the race as Republican.
“I’m absolutely excited and a little bit surprised,” he said of Tuesday’s results.
Reinhardt said he believes the tide was in favor of Republicans nationally and locally.
“I just think it was the voter sentiment. With the budget mess in Clark County, voters wanted to see new faces,” Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt, who has worked in the financial industry as a treasury cash and investment manager at both Humana and Thomas Industries, said he is prepared to work hard and knows he has a “big job” ahead of him.
Hurst, 53, a Democrat from Borden, was chosen by caucus to take over as treasurer following the death of her predecessor, Shirley Nolot.
“I think it was just from the national level,” Hurst said. “I don’t think it’s anything I’ve done on the local level. I think we’ve seen Republicans come out to vote who have never voted before. That’s the only explanation.”
Hurst has spent many years working in Clark County government but never ran for election before the primary in May. She said that in the weeks ahead she will look into her options for what to do next.
Incumbent recorder wins
re-election by 205 votes
Dick Jones was re-elected Clark County recorder with 16,232 votes, or 50.3 percent, beating Terry Conway, who received 16,027 votes, or 49.7 percent.
“I always expect it to be a close race. I never take anything for granted,” Jones said. “I’m very happy the people of Clark County decided to retain me as recorder.”
Jones, 69, of Jeffersonville, has been part of county government since 1984 and had considered retiring from government but decided to return to the race at the urging of supporters. Jones said that, win or lose, his hope is always that many people turn out to the polls to vote.
Conway, 41, of Jeffersonville, is a New Chapel paramedic and firefighter. He said he was proud to have been so close to defeating a man who has been in Clark County politics for so long.
“I took on the oldest incumbent in Clark County and got within (300) votes,” Conway said. “I took on the good ol’ boys club.”
Conway said he was happy to see so many Republicans win in other offices. He said plans to continue to stay involved in politics whether working behind the scene for the Republican party or running for election in the future.
FOUR elected in uncontested Clark County races
Democrat Barbara Bratcher-Haas was re-elected clerk of the Circuit Court with 19,909 votes. Democrat Steve Stewart was re-elected as prosecutor with 20,163 votes. Democrat Vicky Kent Haire was re-elected as assessor with 19,930 votes. Democrat Mike Moore was re-elected as county commissioner with 19,737 votes.