Hamilton County Republicans hold onto county seats


The Hamilton County Republican Party will maintain its stranglehold on county government despite an influx of Democrats running for office this year.

Seven county offices had contested races in the general election: clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, coroner, District 1 county commissioner, and District 1, District 2 and District 3 county councilors.

Additionally, nine Statehouse seats and a handful of township races were also contested.

Voter turnout this year was about 51 percent, election officials reported.

This year, the Hamilton County Democratic Party fielded more than 30 candidates to run for state and local offices, seeking inroads in GOP-heavy Hamilton County. Comparatively, in 2014, the last time Hamilton County held a midterm election, only nine Democratic candidates stepped up to run for office, Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Joe Weingarten told IBJ.

Right now, just one Democrat holds office in Hamilton County—Cicero clerk treasurer Jan Unger, who has held the position since 2000.

Here’s how county races shook out:

County commissioner

In the District 1 county commissioner race, incumbent Christine Altman prevailed with 61 percent of the vote.

Altman, 63, an attorney at Altman Poindexter & Wyatt LLC in Carmel, was challenged by Democrat Rosemary Dunkle, 70, who is retired and previously ran for Hamilton County Council in 2014 and 2016.

Altman received 61 percent to Dunkle’s 39 percent.

District 1 represents southwest Hamilton County, including Carmel. County commissioners oversee the county’s day-to-day operations, including supervising and maintaining county property, receiving bids and authorizing contracts, recommending to the county council the amount of salary to be paid to each county officer, and overseeing hiring of deputies and employees.

County Council

Three Hamilton County Council seats were in play Tuesday.

In District 1, which encompasses part of Clay Township, incumbent Fred Glynn, 43, was challenged by Democrat Jeremy Eltz, 34.

Glynn, a Carmel resident, was first elected to the county council four years ago. He took 57 percent of the vote to Eltz’s 43 percent.

In District 3, incumbent Steve Schwartz, 57, a four-term county council member, was challenged by Democrat Jeremy Hawk, 35. District 3 includes Noblesville, Jackson and White River townships.

Schwartz garnered 66 percent to Hawk’s 44 percent.

In District 4, which represents Adams and Washington townships and part of Clay Township, Ken Alexander, 45, former director of Westfield’s Grand Park, prevailed over Democrat William Howard II, 44. Alexander took 60 percent of the vote to Howard’s 40 percent.

District 2 county councilor Amy Massillamany ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections.

In other Hamilton County races:

Former State Rep. Kathy Richardson, a Republican, beat Democrat Cathy Sutton to become the county’s next clerk of the circuit court. Richardson took 60 percent of the vote, while Sutton captured 40 percent.

Republican Dennis Quakenbush won the sheriff’s race over Democrat Jason Straw and Libertarian Duane Brenton. Quakenbush received 61 percent of the vote, Straw got 36 percent and Brenton took 3 percent.

And Republican John Chaflin, 74, won against Democrat Karin Anderson, 50, in the coroner election. Chaflin, the incumbent, received 60 percent of the vote, while Anderson got 40 percent.

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