Kyle Dukes, Tyler Huffer and Chris Francis upset their Republican incumbent opponents Tuesday in the May primary. Bob Conley was the only Republican incumbents in a local race who came away with a win. The county saw a 26.16 percent total voter turnout.
Dukes received the county sheriff’s nomination for the November election. Huffer received the Plain Township Trustee nomination and Francis received the nomination for Tippecanoe Township Trustee. Conley will appear on the ballot for the county commissioner-southern district seat.
On the Democrat ticket, Martha Stoelting received the nomination for Turkey Creek Township Trustee.
The Tippecanoe Township Advisory Board race went to Ed Clayton, James M. (Jim) Rhodes and James M. (Jim) Smith.
Kosciusko County sided with voters in the district and state in their selection of nominees for U.S. Senator choosing Mike Braun, U.S. District 2 going with Jackie Walorski, State Rep. District 18 keeping Dave Wolkins and State Rep. District 22 sticking with Curt Nisly on the Republican ballot.
Wolkins defeated his opponent Russell Reahard with 2,861 votes to Reahard’s 1,060. Totals for the district were not all reported as of 7:42 a.m. today, Wednesday. At that time Wolkins had 2,797 votes to 2,456 votes.
Nisly defeated Syracuse resident Kim Cates on the local level as well receiving 4,614 votes to Cates’ 2,863 votes. Nisley carried every precinct the Jefferson, Tippecanoe, Turkey Creek and Van Buren townships. Totals for the district were also not available on this race. At 7:42 a.m. today, the state results showed Nisly had received 1,207 votes to Cates’ 292.
It was the same on the Democrat ballot. Local voters choose Mel Hall as U.S. Rep. District 2 nominee and Courtney Tritch as U.S. Rep. District 3 nominee.
There were a few glitches with voter machines early in the day with three of the 200 machines having slight issues, which were readily fixed.
However, the biggest glitch may have come in Van Buren 3 where some of its voters reside in the Milford town limits. While it did not make a difference in the town election results, as all candidates were unopposed, some voters were not given the opportunity to vote for city officials. It is unknown how many of those voters were not asked by poll officials if they resided in the town limits and given the appropriate ballot. Instead they received the township ballot.
Republican County Races
Dukes lead throughout the evening and in the end received 6,054 votes. Incumbent Sheriff William “Rocky” Goshert received 3,261 votes, with Anthony W. Ciriello receiving 1,406 and Christopher Rager receiving 1,120 votes. Dukes carried all but one precinct in Jefferson, Tippecanoe, Turkey Creek and VanBuren townships. That one precinct, in Jefferson Township, had a tie between Dukes and Goshert.
“I’m very, very excited to get this win tonight. Unbelievable … when the very first poll came out and I had the lead, I could breath again. I knew, I wanted to lead early to kind of set the tone … I’m excited I campaigned on law enforcement being a team … coming back together … continue to work as a team, … have one unified drug task force, tackle the school safety issue, community policing. … can’t wait to get started … I will not let you down,” stated Dukes.
In the race for County Commissioner – Southern District it went down to the wire between Conley and his opponent DeLynn Geiger. Conley won with 5,904 votes to Geiger’s 5,290. Conley had the early lead, but Geiger came within six votes at one point and actually took the lead after 29 precincts reported in. But Conley took control of the lead after half the precincts were counted and maintained that lead.
Republican Township Races
It was a back and forth battle between Huffer and incumbent Jerry Kammerer throughout the evening, but Huffer was able to squeak by Kammerer with 675 votes to Kammerer’s 586 votes. Huffer was able to carry four of the seven precincts. Huffer’s win in those four precincts were by 22-32 percent margins. Kammerer’s wins ranged from 17-80 percent.
Francis kept a 26.58 percent margin lead over incumbent Steve Ward until late in the evening, when ballots from Tippecanoe Township began to roll in and be counted. Francis never lost the lead and took the nomination with 776 votes to Ward’s 427 votes. Township residents made it clear Francis was their choice as he carried all four precincts receiving 61.96-67.69 percent of the votes in each precinct. “From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely appreciate the support. I have thoroughly enjoyed the campaign process and interacting with our citizens. I look forward to November and continuing to serve all of you,” stated Francis
The township advisory board race was also clear that Clayton, Rhodes and Smith were the choices of votes, taking every precinct. Clayton received 778 votes; Rhodes, 845; and Smith received 736. Jeffrey Anglemeyer received 395 votes and Meerzo received 445 votes.
Donald Ellison, Sonya Hathaway and Patrick Landrigan won the Monroe Township Board nomination, ousting candidate Jack Baumgardner in the November election. Ellison received a total of 81 votes, Hathaway received 102 votes and Landirgan received 107. Baumgardner received 72 votes.
Democrat Township Race
On the Democrat ballot, Stoelting was the clear winner, taking five of the six precincts, loosing to Tim Yeager in Precinct 4. Stoelting won with 126 votes to Yeager’s 70 votes. Stoelting received 19.04-51.36 percent of the votes in each of the precincts she won, loosing to Yeager by 15.38 percent in Precinct 4.
Republican State And District Races
While Braun won the county and state nomination. He wasn’t the nominee of choice in some precincts. Todd Rokita was the choice in Jefferson 1, Tippecanoe 4 and Van Buren 1 and Luke Messer was the choice in Turkey Creek 2. All three candidates tied in Jefferson 3.
Other Democrat Races
Hall came out as the winner overall for U.S. Rep. District 2, but Kosciusko County residents were not 100 percent behind the candidate. Yoshi Yatish was the candidate of choice in Turkey Creek 4 and Van Buren 1 and 2 and Pat Hackett won Jefferson 1 and 3 and Turkey Creek 6.
Tritch won all precincts in Tippecanoe Township.