CLARK COUNTY —
Going into the general election, it was clear that there were going to be some new faces on the next Clark County Council.
After Tuesday’s general election, three out of the four council seats up for grabs went to Republicans, with Barbara Hollis the lone incumbent Democrat that held onto her post.
The results were somewhat surprising to the candidates in the margins of victory and for some the anti-incumbent and anti-Democrat sentiment that swept through the historically Democratic Clark County.
In Clark County’s District 2, Republican Brian Lenfert, 28, received 3,086 votes, or 56.6 percent, defeating incumbent Democrat Jackie Stocksdale Dickman, who garnered 2,369 votes, or 43.4 percent.
Going into the election, Lenfert said he was cautiously optimistic.
He recounted a conversation that he had with a Democratic committee member early in his campaign that told him he could not be able to win as a Republican in Clarksville.
“You’ll have to knock on every door in Clarksville to win,” Lenfert said about the conversation. “So I knocked on every door twice.”
But the key to his victory was the economy, spending and national sentiment.
“There’s no way I can give myself all the credit,” Lenfert said. “It’s definitely a national trend, but I had no idea that national trend would make it all the way down to Clarksville.”
While both candidates said they were a little surprised by the totals, Dickman, 56, said she knew the race was over early.
“When the first precinct came, I knew,” she said.
Dickman explained with the history of the precinct, she knew when the total came back she had lost the race. She said she even stopped by Republican headquarters to congratulate Lenfert on the win and a well-conducted race.
“We have the same values,” she said. “It’s Republicans’ turn and that’s the way things happen.
As he enters his first term as a council member, he said the council needs to control spending.
“As the economy recovers, our tax revenue will recover, but until then we need to, at best, flatline spending and maybe even cut,” he said. “I think what you’re looking at is a voter mandate that the voters are expecting changes. So I really think existing county council members and incoming council members will for the most part be on the same page and realize the mandate that was put forward tonight and realize real changes need to happen.”
Clark County’s second district covers Jeffersonville Township west of Interstate 65 — largely Clarksville.
Precincts that are represented in the district are 27 and 30 through 42, which encompasses 24 percent of the county’s population.