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Voter turnout low for primary election

By JEFF BROWN - jbrown@shelbynews.com

The 2019 Primary Election in Shelby County saw less than a six percent turnout.

A total of 825 votes were cast in the primary election Tuesday that determined most of the Republican ballot for the Nov. 5 Municipal Election.

“I think it was pretty low,” said Election Deputy Jeff Sponsel when asked about the results. “We don’t have a lot of contests going on and there was a lot of incumbency return.”

The only two contested races in Shelbyville were for clerk-treasurer and the two at-large bids for the Shelbyville City Council.

In the clerk-treasurer’s race, Scott Asher defeated Amy Glackman, 375-312. Asher, a member of the Shelby County Council, will face Democrat incumbent Frank Zerr in November.

“We’re through the primary election now so it’s time to reunite the Republican Party,” said Asher Wednesday afternoon. “Let’s all be Republicans again, go out and recruit new voters and make sure the registered voters are in the right house.”

Asher admits he was unsure how the voting would go but is happy for the opportunity to expand his role in local government.

“I’ve got a nice team of people helping me. I think we will make a good team,” said Asher of his push for the clerk-treasurer position.

Three men ran for the two at-large seats on the city council. Brian Asher and Rob Nolley, both current seat holders on the council, received the most votes which eliminated Phillip Coit Conover from the ballot. Asher received 520 votes. Nolley amassed 474 with Conover collecting 203.

Asher and Nolley will face Democratic candidate Carrie Ridgeway on the November ballot. The Democratic party has until July 3 to file the paperwork and add a second candidate to the ballot.

That July 3 deadline applies to both parties to fill vacancies on the ballot, according to Sponsel. 

The Republicans did not have a city council candidate listed for the First Ward. 

Nathan Willis, who was elected to fill the Second Ward seat at the start of 2019 when David Carmony vacated his seat after moving out of the ward, received 79 votes Tuesday. He will face the Democratic candidate, Angela Matney.

In the Third Ward, Republican Mike Johnson received 198 total votes. The Democrats have not yet listed a challenger for the seat.

Former Shelbyville mayor Scott Furgeson received 132 votes in the Fourth Ward. He also does not yet have a Democratic challenger.

In the Fifth Ward, Republican Tyson Conrady totaled 92 votes. He will face Democratic incumbent Jeffrey Wright in November.

Republican mayoral candidate Brad Ridgeway received the most votes Tuesday of any candidate on the ballot. The current city councilman representing the Fourth Ward garnered 532 votes. He will run against two-term Democratic mayor Tom DeBaun later this year.

“It’s too early to tell how much contests there will be between any of the races. The mayor and clerk-treasurer races will drive that,” said Sponsel when asked what kind of voter turnout he expects in November. “It will clearly be bigger. I think you will still see about 13,000 to 14,000 total voters (eligible to vote) and 6,000 to 7,000 votes ... but that’s a wild guess.”

In Morristown, Republican Amy Mullens received 85 votes and will challenge Donald Roberts, a Democrat, for the clerk-treasurer position.

Three Republicans ran for two Morristown Town Council seats. Tammy Davis (75 votes) and David Benefiel (70) distanced themselves from William White (40).

And four Republicans vied for three Edinburgh Council At-Large seats. Dawn Graham (17), Lewis Turner (16) and Carl Crider (11) will fill the ballot with Miriam Rooks (9) being eliminated from contention.

Election Summary

825 votes were cast Tuesday in the 2019 Primary Election. The total number of registered voters was 13,886.

Mayor of Shelbyville

Brad Ridgeway — 532 votes

Shelbyville Clerk-Treasurer

Scott Asher — 375 votes

Amy Glackman — 312 votes

Shelbyville City Council At-Large

Brian Asher — 520 votes

Rob Nolley — 474 votes

Phillip Coit Conover — 203 votes

Shelbyville City Council First Ward

No candidate filed

Shelbyville City Council Second Ward

Nathan Willis — 79 votes

Shelbyville City Council Third Ward

Mike Johnson — 198 votes

Shelbyville City Council Fourth Ward

Scott Furgeson — 132 votes

Shelbyville City Council Fifth Ward

Tyson Conrady — 92 votes

Morristown Clerk-Treasurer

Amy Mullens — 85 votes

Morristown Town Council

Tammy Davis — 75 votes

David Benefiel — 70 votes

William White — 40 votes

Edinburgh Council At-Large

Dawn Graham — 17 votes

Lewis Turner — 16 votes

Carl Crider — 11 votes

Miriam Rooks — 9 votes


Source: Jeff Sponsel, Election Deputy, Shelby County Clerk of the Courts