A countywide Republican landslide
A strong turnout by Whitley County voters put Republican candidates into nearly every office up for election Tuesday.With the exception of four Democrats who hold positions on township advisory boards, every other seat went to the GOP. Even the Democrats who were elected were uncontested, as in Kevin Bollinger as Washington Township trustee, and the advisory board for Jefferson Township. The lone Republican running for Washington Township’s advisory board had the most votes of the four candidates for the three-person board.The county saw more than half of its 21,357 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a higher turnout than in previous years, according to election officials.Those who were working the polls reported heavy turnout. Tommy Jo Shupe, who was a precinct worker at Richland South, said there were still 14 voters in line at poll closing time. The precinct saw nearly 56 percent turnout.Several precincts neared 60 percent voter turnout with Columbia Northeast reporting the best turnout of the day at 59.95 percent. Perhaps driven by a school tax referendum Cleveland South had a 58.86 percent turnout. Jefferson East saw a 58.5 percent turnout, Columbia 7 reported 57.99 percent, Jefferson West had a 57.56 turnout and Thorncreek North saw a 57.27 turnout.Sheila Schilling and Sandy Rumsyre, who have worked a poll in Washington Township for more than 20 years, said that Tuesday’s election was one of the busiest they’ve ever seen. Schillling thought perhaps a contested school board race and Congressional races were the two biggest reasons voters turned out.Only two precincts had less than 40 percent voter turnout — Columbia 5 at 37.15 and Columbia 2 at 39.33.Two other items of note from Tuesday’s election, there were 1,766 straight party tickets cast for Republicans, and absentee voter turnout stood at 1,502.A precinct-by-precinct look at Tuesday’s election can be found by logging onto our website at www.thepostandmail.com and following the link found in community links.