Senior staff writer
Southport and Beech Grove city halls will have a few different faces as the result of Election Day.
Southport Mayor Jesse Testruth was upended by 13 votes by Redevelopment Commission President Russ McClure, who ran as an independent.
McClure, campaigning for a more businesslike city administration, garnered 191 votes to Testruth’s 178 in the city’s only race.
Testruth took office in 2012 after Mayor Rob Thoman decided not to seek re-election. Testruth, a military veteran, was instrumental in pulling a fractured community and city administration together again, even to the point of receiving applause at several of the City Council meetings in early 2012. He also was active in planning and coordinating numerous communitywide celebrations at Southport Park.
McClure did not run in the primary; Testruth was unopposed then. Beginning Jan. 1 the council will include incumbents Jim Cooney, Joe Haley Jr. and Larry Tunget and newcomers Steve Beals and Kenny Winslow. Clerk-Treasurer Diana Bossingham remains.
Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley easily won re-election against Republican newcomer Ed McDonald, a retired military officer, 1,873 to 1,218. Buckley campaigned to keep the city moving ahead and to continue policies of fiscal responsibility.
“I want to tell you how grateful I am that you gave me another opportunity to serve as your mayor,” Buckley stated on election night. “Congratulations to all who won in this election cycle. I look forward to continuing to move the city forward.”
In Beech Grove’s most heated race, Democratic Clerk-Treasurer Dan McMillan won re-election in a three-way race.
McMillan, who was the subject of a politically timed bullying/sexual harassment lawsuit filed in federal court by two female city employees, garnered 1,175 votes to independent James Coffman’s 1,097 votes and Republican Ron Mote’s 785 votes. Unknown opponents of McMillan distributed copies of his Beech Grove High School transcript, which he and police are investigating.
The seven-member Beech Grove City Council will have five Democrats and two Republicans on Jan. 1; Democrats Ed Bell and David Harrison were re-elected. Elected to the council were at-large Democrats James Brooks and Buddy Templin and district councilors, Democrat Elizabeth Lamping and Republicans Chris Duffer and Kevin Day.
Dave Mobley, Kathy Coates, Mary Stewart, Ed Bell and Anthony Davidson did not seek re-election.
Davidson, a Republican, challenged Indianapolis City-County Councilor Frank Mascari, D, a lifelong Beech Grove resident and longtime business owner. Mascari prevailed in the District 21 race, 3,037 to 2,013.
“It was a tough race, and we both fought until the end,” Mascari said. “We both have a vision for Indianapolis and Beech Grove. The only way that these two cities will move toward a more economically robust and safe future is with all hands on deck.”
Republican City-County Councilor Aaron Freeman won re-election in District 25, mostly Franklin Township, in a three-way race: Freeman received 4,187 votes, Democrat Jeff Wheeler 1,713 and independent Mike Jasper 427.
First-time Republican Mayoral candidate Chuck Brewer, a Perry Township resident, squared off against heavily favored Democrat Joe Hogsett, former Indiana secretary of state and South District attorney general.
Hogsett prevailed 92,834 to 56,662. Each candidate ran on a platform of improved public safety, better streets and fiscal responsibility.
Democrats won 13 seats on the City-County Council for a one-seat majority; it’s the first time since Unigov was formed in 1970 that Democrats have a majority.
In Greenwood, City Council at-large incumbent Republicans Brent Corey, Mike Campbell and newcomer Chuck Landon earned more votes than Democrat Wilson Mack. Incumbent Republican district Councilors Bruce Armstrong and Ron Bates were re-elected.