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May 6, 2014

Two judges unseated in Clark County primary

Harbison, Adams move on to currently unopposed general elections

JEFFERSONVILLE — Two incumbent Clark County judges were unseated during the Democratic Party primary race Tuesday.

In Circuit Court No. 2, Laura Harbison received 4,495 votes, or 56.4 percent, while Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 Judge Jerry Jacobi received 3,474 votes, or 43.6 percent.

Drew Adams edged out Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 Judge Dan Moore by 328 votes, receiving 4,208 votes, or 52 percent, while Moore received 3,880, or 48 percent.

Harbison said she had concerns that her short primary campaign and the county’s low voter turnout would not be to her favor, but those concerns were replaced with excitement after the polling results revealed her popularity with voters.

“I really wasn’t sure. I knew that I had done everything I could in the course of a very short primary race to get my name out there,” she said. “I was nervous and uncertain. I’ll put it that way.”

No Republicans have filed in race, but the party has until June 30 to fill the vacancy on the general election ballot.

Harbison said she has no idea if she will have further opposition before a chance to take the bench in January.

“I don’t know what they intend to do, or who they intend to put up,” she said. “I will just have to wait and see.”

Harbison said she is thankful to have the primary behind her, and that she is looking forward to spending more time with her family and at her legal practice.

While Jacobi’s court received negative attention after the first of the year, following claims of misconduct by court personnel and the revocation of the Clark County Drug Treatment Court, Harbison said kept her campaign focused on her credentials, not the allegations against the circuit court.

“When I spoke with voters, I tried to make it clear that I was running for the benefit of the county. I wanted them to get to know me as a candidate,” she said. “I just tried to meet as many people as I could, let them know who I am, what my intentions were, what I’ve done in my past and why I’m good for the county. And, hopefully, that resonated. I guess that resonated because we are victorious tonight, which I’m very excited about.”

Without knowing if another candidate will enter the general election, Harbison knows she can’t be complacent with the primary victory.

“I’m going to plan as if there is going to be opposition,” she said. “I will continue to campaign, regardless, leading all the way through November, just so people know who their candidate is.”

Jacobi was reached by phone after the election’s results were released, but he did not provide comment.

•••

While surrounded by a group of supporters bubbling with excitement Tuesday evening, Adams said he was very appreciative of the support he received to win the primary race, before quickly leaving the Bingo Hall on 10th Street in Jeffersonville for his hometown of Charlestown.

Moore was not reached for comment.

•••

In the Circuit Court No. 3 primary, incumbent judge Joe P. Weber advanced unopposed, receiving 5,974 votes. There is no Republican opponent slotted for the Nov. 4 election.

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U.S. Department of Justice Senior Litigation Counsel Brad Blackington, left, speaks about a grand jury indictment surrounding Clark County Sheriff Daniel Rodden and his alleged involvement with a prostitute during a press conference at the Lee H. Hamilton Federal Building in downtown New Albany on Tuesday afternoon.

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