News and Tribune

November 6, 2012

Bush, Freiberger survive challenges

Two incumbents easily retain commissioners seats

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — The makeup of the Floyd County Commissioners remained unchanged following Tuesday’s election.

Democrat Chuck Freiberger won his fourth term in District 2 beating Republican Dave Matthews. Freiberger collected 17,884 votes, or 52.9 percent of the vote, to Matthews’ 15,919 votes, or 47.1 percent. The race was a rematch of four years ago with similar results, although the 2012 race was closer.

“He’s a hard candidate to beat,” Matthews said at the Calumet Club, where Republicans gathered to watch the returns. “Chuck is a good candidate. We thought we would see a lot of straight Republican votes, but there were a lot of split tickets. It’s hard to know what to expect. We don’t do any polling on these races.”

Freiberger said he was “cautiously optimistic” heading into Tuesday’s race. He said he wants to work to mend fences between the county and New Albany. He also said there seems to be more friction between the commissioners and public during meetings.

“I don’t like having the public come to our meetings and have a barrier between us. There seems to be more of that now at our meetings,” he said. “And the city and county need to work together. We are here for the entire community. We are all the same county.”

Matthews, who is in his sixth year as chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party, said he was pleased with his party’s successes Tuesday — especially taking control of the Floyd County Council.

“We started out [six years ago] winning one of 11 races. The next year we won five races and in 2010 we won 23 of 23 races. We were hoping to do that tonight,” he said. “My interest is to take back America tonight [Mitt Romney being elected president] and take back New Albany in three years.”

Bush won a third term as commissioner in a rematch with Roudenbush in District 3. Bush, a Republican, finished with 18,009 votes, or 53.5 percent, to Roudenbush’s 15,643 votes, or 46.5 percent.

As he was watching the results trickle in at the Calumet Club, Bush said he was a bit nervous.

“You are always concerned,” he said. “You never know how the general public will vote. But we ran a positive campaign in what we did and what we said. We tried to stay on message.”

Bush said he is proud of what the commissioners have accomplished in the past four years — and said the public seems to be as well since he and Freiberger were victorious Tuesday.

“We try to represent all the people, and I think Chuck, Mark [Seabrook] and I work well together,” he said. “We sit down and discuss the issues.”