Democrats Make Gains

Democrats in Jackson County pick up two county office seats as a result of last Tuesday’s election results.

Democrat John Schafstall defeated Tom Joray 8755 to 8,216 to fill the county commissioner seat of Steve Gill whom Joray defeated in the Republican primary this spring. Over half of Schafstall’s 539 vote margin came of the three Vernon Township precincts where he defeated Joray by a 291 vote margin 786 to 495.

The other democrat pick up was on the county council where newcomer J.L. Brewer won election with 8,304 votes. Republicans Charles Murphy and Matt Reedy were re-elected. Brewer out-distanced Ed Koerner for the third council at large seat.

While Reedy led all vote getters for council, Brewer led the balloting in the three Vernon Precincts gathering 717 votes. Murphy collected 644 votes and Reedy received 508.

In their losing effort, Chips Everhart received 7,442 votes county wide and 616 in Vernon Township; Ed Koerner 7,561 county wide and 550 in Vernon Township; Reuben Cummings received 7,065 votes in the county and 529 in Vernon Township.

Republican Jerry Hounshel. a former two-term sheriff, defeated Democrat Jim Darlage 9,856 to 7,395. Vernon gave their majority to Darlage, 711 to 599 for Hounshel.

Incumbent Democrat County Surveyor Jerry Tracey was re-elected defeating Daniel Blann 8,688 to 8,214. Tracey polled 770 votes in Vernon Township to 512 for Blann.

In the race for county coroner Democrat Roger Wheeler defeated Anne Scarlett 9,722 to 7,178. Wheeler polled 840 votes in the three Vernon precincts to 448 for Scarlett.

The race for State Representative from District 66 wasn’t much of one as incumbent Democrat Terry Goodin easily outdistanced his GOP challenger Jack Gillespie 7,221 to 4,597. Goodin won re-election; Gillespie failed to win a single precinct in Jackson County.

Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill easily won re-election defeating Republican Mike Sodrel 10,667 to 5,971. Sodrel failed to win a single precinct in Hill’s home county.

Republicans won all three state races and in Jackson County through Democrats candidates received a majority of votes in Vernon Township.

Governor Mitch Daniels won re-election with 9,834 votes in Jackson County to 7,321 votes for Jill Long Thompson. Locally, Daniels received 606 votes to 710 for Thompson.

Republican Greg Zoeller was elected as attorney general with 8,479 votes in Jackson County to Linda Pence’s 8,390. Locally, Pence received 752 votes to 539 for Zoeller.

Former Scottsburg basketball coach Tony Bennett won election for the Republicans as state superintendent of public instruction. He defeated Richard Woo in Jackson County 8,727 to 7,837. Locally, Wood polled 684 votes to Bennett’s 582.

For President, Vernon Township gave a majority of their votes to Democrat Barack Obama. Locally Obama defeated Republican John McCain 670-667. While Jackson County gave their majority to McCain (9,852-7,445) Obama received a majority of the votes in Indiana making it the first time since 1964 that the Hoosier state voted Democratic for the nation’s president.