BY DENNIS BARTLOW
ATTICA, Ind. —
Sharon Negele’s second try for a state representative seat turned out to be a successful one.
Negele, a Republican, topped Democrat Mark Straw by more than 4,000 votes even though she lost her own Fountain County by seven votes and Straw’s Warren County by almost 400 votes. She also will represent all or parts of Benton, Newton, Jasper, Tippecanoe, White and Montgomery counties.
“I won all the rest of the counties,” Negele said Wednesday morning while performing her duties as Attica clerk-treasurer before heading to Indianapolis for her first meeting to pick party leadership Wednesday afternoon. She said the Republicans will have a “super majority” in the House.
Negele is not the only new state representative in western Indiana. Alan Morrison, a Republican from Vigo County, will represent Troy, Fulton and Wabash townships in Fountain County, Mound Township in Warren County, all of Vermillion County and parts of Parke, Clay and Vigo counties.
“I am really excited,” Negele said. “I have been preparing for this for years.”
She lost to state Rep. F Dale Grubb, D-Covington, two years ago in District 42. Grubb chose not to run this year.
District 13 is a new district that had no incumbent.
“I think I can represent District 13 very well,” Negele said. “I think my values and initiative will fit very well.”
Negele has been Attica clerk-treasurer nine years.
The District 42 race was almost dead even. Less than 200 votes separated the two candidates.
“It’s a pretty 50-50 district,” Morrison said of the split between Democrats and Republicans. “I certainly did not expect a blowout either way.”
Morrison did well in Fountain County, which is his wife’s home. A resident of Seelyville, he is assistant director for recreational facilities at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Mark Spelbring, Morrison’s opponent and a native of Clay County, recently retired as Parke County Extension director after serving more than 25 years in Parke and Vermillion counties.
Democrats won the two contested races in heavily Democrat Vermillion County.
Roger Lewis was elected coroner, while longtime commissioner Harry Crossley Sr. will retain his seat in the southern part of the county.
The North Vermillion School Board will have two new board members. Terra Naylor won the six-way battle for a Eugene Township seat, while Mark Swingle was unopposed in Highland Township.
Larry Bemis, who was first elected to the school board when he was 18, will retain the seat in Vermilion Township.
Vermillion County had a 46 percent turnout.
The Terre Haute Tribune-Star contributed to this story.
Sharon Negele (R) 14,628
Mark Straw (D) 10,192
Alan Morrison (R) 12,617
Mark Spelbring (D) 12,490
Vermillion County Coroner
Roger Lewis (D) 3,953
Matthew Fitzthum (R) 2,405
Vermillion County Commissioner
Harry Crossley Sr. (D) 3,637
Greg Meyer (R) 2,761
North Vermillion School Board
Terra Naylor 451
Amy Sheppard 318
John Yoho 290
Jason McLain 260
Ron Dunavan 239
April Starkey 145
Larry Bemis 909
Randy West 700