The Herald Bulletin

November 7, 2012

Democrats seize control of Madison County Council

Voters wanted change, candidate says

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Madison County voters rejected the sharply conservative agenda of the Madison County Council in Tuesday’s general election, returning control of the fiscal body to Democrats.

In unofficial results with all 112 precincts reporting, Democrat Lisa Hobbs was the overall winner with 27,429 votes, followed by Republican Lisa G. Phillips with 24,123 votes, and Democrat Robin Wagner with 23,422. The top three vote-getters gain council seats.

Republicans Mike Gaskill (22,991 votes) and Mike Phipps (21,499 votes), who pursued a controversial agenda since assuming control of the council in January, were out of the running and will leave office in January. Phipps was elected in 2008; Gaskill was appointed by the Madison County Republican Party when former Councilman Larry Crenshaw resigned in January to become Anderson police chief.

Tamie Dixon-Tatum, Democrat, received 21,846 votes.

Hobbs said she was humbled and proud to be a representative of all the people of Madison County, whatever their differences.

“I think the actions of the current council have put a sour taste in the mouths of a lot of voters,” she said. “I think this was a bipartisan election.”

Wagner said she could not have won the election without support from the Democratic Party.

“I’m super excited and ready to get in there and work with elected officials to improve public safety,” she said. “I think people wanted something different at the polls today.”

Until she takes office in January, Wagner said, she will continue to attend council meetings and learn as much as she can.

Phillips, who spent the evening at the Paramount Theatre Centre ballroom, said she was numb about the election results, and said she was surprisingly melancholy most of the evening. But that seemed to pass when the unofficial results were announced.

“I have lots of stuff to learn and a lot of wise men to seek council from,” she said. “I don’t know everything I need to know.”

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.