St. Joseph County Republicans win big in midterms elections

NOW: St. Joseph County Republicans win big in midterms elections

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind., --- Despite what happened nationally, the midterm elections proved to be a big night for St. Joseph County Republicans. The party not only saw first-time wins across the county, but a flip in control for some positions for the first time in decades.

From Senator Todd Young at the top all the way down to local positions, several St. Joseph County Republicans won big in Tuesday night’s midterm elections.

“I think the lessons here are that St. Joseph County is a purple county, that coattails matter, the ground game matters and every vote counts,” said IUSB Political Science Professor Elizabeth Bennion.

County Commissioner Carl Baxmeyer held on to his commissioner seat for district one and is already looking ahead to the future.

“I'm gratified that the voters have put their trust in me,” said Carl Baxmeyer, the President and winner of St. Joseph County District One Commissioners’ Race. “I’d like to increase availability and transparency of the county commissioner meetings.”

Penn Township Assessor Mike Castellon of more than a decade was also a part of the republican success, he picked up the win over the projected favorite democrat Ted Booker.

“I think our message rang through St. Joseph County and they’re ready for a change,” said Mike Castellon, the St. Joseph County Assessor Elect. “This job’s about providing fair assessment to the taxpayers regardless of political ideology.”

Amy Rolfes also got the win over Lana Cleary in a tight race for county clerk with 53% of the votes.

“I'm very pleased with the outcome of the election,” said Amy Rolfes, the St. Joseph County Clerk Elect. “The first thing that I would do, I want to make it clear that I would change the locks…I think it would give the voters confidence this is a brand-new start to the clerk’s office.”

Rolfes’ win comes amid questions about election security, after Democrat incumbent Rita Glenn was seen in a video entering a secure absentee ballot storage room alone the night before primary elections.

Something political expert Elizabeth Bennion believe Rolfes was able to capitalize on.

“Negative campaigning works in the right context…Rolfes said I don’t have experience in the County Clerk’s office, that’s a good thing,” said Bennion

But most importantly Bennion said the power of unity and hard work played the biggest role in republican success.

“They really worked together, got out, went to numerous community events, knocked on numerous to make that victory possible. They benefited from the coattail effect of those top ticket races but also from their own work,” added Bennion.

Republicans also secured three wins in County Council in Districts A,B, and C.

They also held their spots for State Representatives in Districts 5 and 7.

Bennion said it’s still too early to tell what role redistricting played in the race, but she believes it should make for competitive races in the future.


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