Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Primary election results

The primary election is over, which sets the stage for the November elections. The election produced some interesting results. The county clerk is finishing up the numbers for the primary election.

One big surprise statewide is the defeat of veteran Republican state senate leader Bob Garton, who faced a first time candidate in the GOP primary. Tax accountant Greg Walker defeated Garton. Walker was endorsed by the political action committee of Indiana Right to Life. Many voters were upset with Garton after he failed to revoke a generous health-care perk for state senators. Brian Bosma took that step in the House several months ago.

This is the second time in four years that an IRTL-endorsed candidate defeated a Republican senator in the primary. Former IRTL vice president Jeff Drozda took a Senate seat from Steve Johnson in 2002. The IRTL PAC endorsed Walker when it saw Garton as too weak on pro-life issues. It is pretty clear that Indiana Right to Life has a large amount of influence with Republican primary voters, and Republicans should pay attention.

In the fourth County Council district, by Jill Lesh defeated Bill Hayden. This was Hayden's third run for elective office in five years. Hayden probably did not help himself by complaining in the Bloomington Alternative last month that "the Democrats have not been friendly to me" and saying that he was not surprised that he had a primary opponent. Hayden and Lesh are very close philosophically.

On the judge race, I was disappointed to see Herb Kilmer lose. While Francie Hill is a quality candidate and will make a fine judge, I have known Kilmer for a few years and consider him to be a friend. Nonetheless, Francie Hill brought a lot of energy to the campaign and deserved her win. I think Kilmer should look at running for Commissioner again in 2008 against Iris Kiesling. Would the results be the same as when he defeated incumbent commissioner Brian O'Neill?

I was not surprised to see Brad Swain win the Republican primary contest for Sheriff, nor was I surprised to see him win by a large margin in a four-way race. Swain was the most experienced and qualified on the Republican side. In the Democratic primary, Jim Kennedy defeated Larry Smith, the darling of the "green" wing of the party. Some Democrats are already claiming the Republicans "crossed over" into the Democratic primary to vote for Kennedy.

It will be interesting to see how the primary results play out over the next few weeks and how they shape the November election.

Office Party Candidate Votes
Bloomington Township Trustee Republican Dexter Luck 409
Bloomington Township Trustee Republican Anthony Bruner 417
Bloomington Township Trustee Democrat Nancy Brinegar 1282
Bloomington Township Assessor Democrat James Brinegar 907
Bloomington Township Assessor Democrat Thomas Teague 393
Bloomington Township Board Republican Robert Naylor 685
Bloomington Township Board Republican Scott Tibbs 526
Bloomington Township Board Democrat Dawn Allen 771
Bloomington Township Board Democrat Barbara McKinney 956
Bloomington Township Board Democrat Bill Sturbaum 1105