The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

May 9, 2014

Incumbents lose in Elwood precinct races

Four new precinct committeemen elected

ELWOOD — Four incumbent Democratic Party precinct committeemen in Elwood and Pipe Creek Township were defeated in Tuesday’s primary.

Their opponents were endorsed by a Facebook page titled Take Back Elwood, which urged its members to vote for 10 people in the primary for a precinct committeemen position.

“It’s Time for Positive Change,” the Facebook page proclaimed. The 10 candidates said on the page that they are a group of local Democrats who wanted to get actively involved.

Take Back Elwood has 573 members with a stated goal of getting Republican Mayor Ron Arnold to resign. They had also called for the resignation of Sam Hanna as police chief. Hanna resigned earlier this year.

Ludy Watkins, chairman of the Madison County Democratic Party, said the change in the makeup of the precinct organization is not a problem.

“We’re all about unity,” she said. “We’re getting ready for the fall. I will work with the new and old precinct committeemen.”

Watkins said there normally aren’t contested races for precinct committeemen positions.

“I’m not surprised,” she said. “I’m glad that people have taken an interest.”

Winning candidates aligned with Take Back Elwood were Sharon Arbuckle in Pipe Creek 1, James Watters in Pipe Creek 3, John Wright in Pipe Creek 4 and Dave Heflin in Pipe Creek 5.

Incumbent Bill Savage defeated Dan Moore in Pipe Creek 6 by one vote. Mary Retherford, election director in the Madison County clerk’s office, said she received a call about a possible recount.

The deadline to request a recount is May 20. The candidate requesting a recount has to pay the expenses.

Incumbents winning re-election included Sheila McPhearson in Pipe Creek 8, Patrick Hoose in Pipe Creek 9, David Beeman in Pipe Creek 10 and Lisa Hobbs in Pipe Creek 11.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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