Senior staff writer
No wonder last week’s midterm general election felt like the 2016 presidential election. Southside voters had a sense of the impact on the elections last week even before President Donald J. Trump’s visit to Southport High School just a few days before Republican Mike Braun was elected to the U.S. Senate.
They turned out in numbers that rivaled the 2016 election. In Marion County, 48 percent of the registered voters went to the polls last week, close to the 53 percent who voted in 2016. In Johnson County, 50 percent of registered voters voted; only 13 percent less than in 2016.
Braun won statewide and carried Johnson County with a heavy Republican plurality of 62.7 percent, but incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly carried Marion County by 64.4 percent. Incumbent Rep. Andre Carson-D and Trey Hollingsworth-R won handily, representing districts that include Marion County and Johnson County, respectively. Of interest to Southside voters, precinct-by-precinct breakdowns will be available Nov. 20, according to the secretary of state.
Several Statehouse races were decided by Southside voters; the winners, all Republicans: District 47 – John T. Young; 58 – Woody Burton; 89 – Cindy Kirchhofer; 90 – Mike Speedy; 91 – Robert Behning; and 93 – David Frizzell. Kirchhofer edged Democrat challenger John Barnes by 223 votes (10,452 to 10,229). Winners in Marion County include (with percentage): prosecutor, Terry Curry (D), 66.5; sheriff, Kerry J. Forestal (D), 65.3; Circuit Court clerk, Myla Eldridge (D), 64.5; Perry Township trustee, Susie Day (R), 59.8; constable, David Taylor (R), 58.5. Winners in Johnson County include: Circuit Court judge, Andrew Roessner (R), 70.6; sheriff, Duane Burgess (R), 72.3; and Circuit Court clerk, Trena McLaughlin (R), 68.2.
School board races Voters elected three at-large members in a five-way race for the Center Grove School Board: Jack Russell, 9,399 votes; Scott Alexander, 8.946; and Joe Hubbard, 7,161. In Greenwood, Michael Metzger, 3,790 votes, and Brian Ford, 2,904, won at-large seats. Ford defeated Jay Arnold by a mere two votes. Dawn Downer defeated Scott Sullivan 6,905 to 6,825 for an at-large seat, and Zach Smith won a three-way race with 7,141 votes to represent the northeast quadrant of the Franklin Township board.