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Local Democrats look ahead to General Election

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BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

Clinton County Democratic Party members met Thursday at Main Street Grille in Frankfort to debrief about the primary election held Tuesday and consider opportunities for the General Election in November.

According to Party Chairman Mark Newhart, the group was to be joined by Tobi Beck and Tom Hedde.

Beck took 31 percent of the total 518 Democratic votes in Clinton County in the six-way race for United States representative for Indiana’s 4th District, the seat to be vacated by Todd Rokita.

That sets her up to run against Jim Baird, who snagged 36 percent of the 4,288 Republicans’ votes cast in the seven-way race. But Beck has a mountain to climb if she hopes to win against Baird in November, both in Clinton County and across the entire district. 

Across the 4th District, 79,908 Republicans voted compared to 6,371 Democrats.

Hedde also has a long way to go to see a win in November.

He received 357 votes locally and 1,158 district-wide, was uncontested as the candidate to represent the Democrats against Republican Heath Vannatter, the incumbent 38th District state representative. Vannatter claimed 2,840 votes in Clinton County and 6,293 in the district.

Most of the Republican candidates for county offices were uncontested; only incumbent Commissioner Scott Shoemaker and Council member Alan Dunn faced Republican challengers Richelle Lutz and Bechel “Frankie” Crew, respectively, but no Democrat filed to for either post. Also, no Democrats filed to run for Circuit Court judge; prosecuting attorney, Circuit Court clerk, auditor or assessor. 

The light for Democrats does shine dimly when one looks at the township seats.

No Republican has filed against Democrats Darrin Lafferty for Kirklin Township trustee, John Bonecutter for Sugar Creek Township trustee, and Larry Laughner for Union Township trustee. There are also nine Democrats among the candidates for township boards.

There are 42 township board seats total, three for each of the 14 townships.

Also, among the townships, Democrat Michael Boesch will face Andrea Huber for Madison Township trustee and Phillip Andrew will face Jim Harris for Ross Township trustee.

Also, the Democrats will host their 2018 Roosevelt/Kennedy Dinner on Saturday at the Michigantown School/Michigantown Lions Club Building, 500 Ohio St., Michigantown.

The event will begin with a social hour at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m., and a Silent Auction will run all evening. Proceeds from the event will be used to benefit local, state and national Democratic Party candidates, said Newhart.

Guest speakers for the dinner include Beck, Hedde and a representative for U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. The keynote speaker will be Indiana Secretary of State candidate Jim Harper.

Tickets are $30 or $180 for a table of six. To reserve a seat or table, contact Newhart at 2768 N. County Road 580 W., Mulberry, IN 46058; manewhart@mintel.net; 765-296-4104. Make checks payable to Clinton County Democratic Party.

For more information about the Democratic Party in Clinton County, contact Newhart at 765-296-4104 or visit their Facebook page. Newhart said the Clinton County Democrats are also joining with ActBlue, a technology company that facilitates fundraising for Democratic and progressive candidates and causes.