Jackson County Republicans have nearly completed the work of filling their side of the ballot for the Seymour municipal election Nov. 3.
That work was finished at 6 p.m. Tuesday when the six primary polling sites in Seymour closed and established the winners of a three-way race for two at-large city council seat nominations along with the winner of the party’s nominations for the District 3 and District 4 council seats.
Democrats still have some work to do if they hope to have a full field for the general election.
The winners in Tuesday’s primary race for the two at-large council seats include Darrin Boas, who currently holds one of those seats after being chosen in January by a Republican caucus to fill a vacancy, and newcomer Kendra Zumhingst. They defeated Dovie Stidham.
Boas received 365 votes, which was 38 percent of the vote. Zumhingst finished with 362 votes, also 38 percent. Stidham received 231 (24 percent).
After hearing of the results, Boas said he was excited that he was able to pull out a win in a close race.
“Looking at the vote totals, it seemed like a lot of people were interested in that race,” he said.
His goal now, he said, is to continue to learn about his role on the council and finding ways to improve the city.
“I’ve enjoyed it so far,” he said. “I think I bring some different ideas, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue that.”
Zumhingst said she was excited by her win but shocked the vote totals were so close.
“I want to thank all the people who came out and voted for me, I greatly appreciate it,” she said. “But we’re not done yet.”
Now, Zumhingst said she is going to focus on getting out and educating people on the importance of voting to increase voter turnout in the fall.
Turnout was just slightly better than four years ago, when it was 4.3 percent. This time around, 7.13 percent, or 840 people from a total of 11,777 registered voters, cast ballots.
“Going door to door, I have found out a lot of people don’t know what the council does or even how we get elected,” Zumhingst said.
She also wants the opportunity to be able to talk to voters about her ideas for bringing different groups of people to work together on projects to move the city forward, she said.
Incumbent District 4 Councilman Jim Rebber received 144 votes (60 percent) to defeat challenger Philip Hardwick, a political newcomer, who received 96 votes. Rebber will now move on to seek his sixth term in office this fall.
“I’m humbled that people came out on a hot day when there weren’t many races on the ballot to vote for me,” Rebber said. “I very much appreciate that, and I’m looking forward to the November election.”
Rebber said he had many people stop and talk to him throughout the day at the polls to voice their concerns about the city and to wish him luck.
That’s one of the things he said he loves most about serving on the council.
“I enjoy being a part of this community and being able to fix problems and listen to people,” he said.
Heading into the November election, Rebber said he will continue to stay focused on coming up with ways to improve road conditions in the city and keep the city growing, especially downtown.
“Those are the kinds of things I want to see for Seymour,” he said. “It makes you feel great that you’re a part of what’s going on here, and I want to help continue to make Seymour a great place for people to live.”
Matt Nicholson won the three-way race for the District 3 council nomination, receiving 60 votes (59 percent), defeating David L. Pollert with 16 votes (16 percent) and Kirk Newkirk with 26 votes (25 percent). Incumbent Danny Sloan decided not to seek election to a full term.
Although it hadn’t quite sunk in yet, Nicholson, owner of B2 Bikes and Boards and director of READ Jackson County, said he was excited by his win and plans to prepare for the general election the same way he did the primary.
“We worked hard, and I went door to door to meet as many voters as I could and to get my name out there,” he said. “I had great conversations today with voters, and I think it’s important to keep those conversations going.”
After hearing about his win, Nicholson said his three daughters were just as excited if not more so than he was.
“I got high fives from all three,” he said.
Nicholson said he has just as much excitement and enthusiasm going into the fall election.
“I know it’s never finished until the last vote is counted, but I’m pretty stoked about it,” he said.
The top of the Republican ballot for the general election was full before the primary, with Mayor Craig Luedeman seeking a third term and Clerk-treasurer Fred Lewis seeking his seventh term. Republican Brian “Bubba” D’Arco also ran unopposed in the primary, as he is seeking a second term as District 2 councilman.
The Republicans do not have candidates for the council District 1 seat presently held by Democrat John J. Reinhart, who is seeking re-election, and the District 5 seat presently held by Independent Dave Earley, an incumbent who also is seeking another term.
The only Democrats on the primary ballot besides Reinhart, are political newcomer, Tammy Riordan, who is running for the District 4 council seat, and incumbent at-large Council member Lloyd Hudson.
Independent Shawn Malone also is seeking an at-large seat in the general election this fall.
The parties have until June 30 to fill vacancies on the ballot through caucuses.
Contested race totals
Council District 3
David L. Pollert;16
Council District 4
Darrin R. Boas;365