The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Politics

May 6, 2014

Mellinger edges Bell by fewer than 50 votes

Dunham nabs victory over Hanna in reversal of 2010 result

ANDERSON, Ind. — Forty-eight votes.

That's how many separated Democratic sheriff primary candidates Scott Mellinger and Maj. Brian Bell after all the votes were counted Tuesday. In a cycle with sparse election turnout at only about 16 percent, Mellinger, the former sheriff, edged Bell, the current No. 2 man at the Madison County Sheriff's Department. Madison County Commissioner Jeff Hardin, a third Democratic candidate, took 614 votes.

The razor-thin margin of 3,587 to 3,539 overshadowed another close race among the Republican primary candidates for sheriff. Anderson Board of Public Safety President Bruce Dunham defeated former Elwood Chief of Police Sam Hanna in a flip of results from four years ago when Hanna moved on to the general election.

Dunham took a plurality with 45 percent to Hanna's 38 percent, winning by 473 votes. Newcomer Tony Boze, who has worked for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Noblesville Sheriff's Department, nabbed 17 percent of the GOP pie with 1,120 votes.

Both victors said they would take short respites before hitting the campaign trail again in preparation for the Nov. 4 general election.

Mellinger dedicated the victory to his mother, who just recently passed away after a bout with cancer. He acknowledged that he will have to win over a lot of people who voted for Bell in the primary.

"Brian and I get along very well, and we've talked about how we're going to try to continue to get along into the summer and the fall," Mellinger said. "There's no reason to believe we won't be on the same team in the fall."

The two worked together at the department while Mellinger served two terms as sheriff in the 1990s. Bell, who has served as current Sheriff Ron Richardson's major for seven years, called the loss heartbreaking, but said Mellinger ran a clean race throughout. He said he wouldn't contest the results.

"We knew it'd be close. He was a gentleman throughout, and I wish him the best," Bell said.

Hardin couldn't be reached for comment after the results were finalized.

Dunham admitted he would have to broaden his reach to not only the people who stumped for Hanna, but also Democrats if he wants to win in November. The last time a non-Democratic candidate held the office was more than three decades ago.

"I have to be a candidate for the entire county. I want to do whatever I can to mend whatever fences we need to mend, get back on track and go from there," Dunham said. "[Mellinger] has a good following, but I think we're continuing to grow. We have to put our best foot forward."

Hanna said he was disturbed by the low voter turnout. After completing his fourth sheriff campaign as a Republican, the longtime Madison County Sheriff's Department detective said he was going to keep his options open for the future.

"I feel like I still have a lot to contribute to Madison County," Hanna said.

Boze, who was making his first foray into politics, said the opportunity was a blessing and he met a lot of people throughout the campaign. He said he would continue to work hard for the GOP and support Dunham into the general election.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

1
Text Only
Local Politics
  • Anderson cop Richardson loses rank Seven months after Anderson Police officer Bill Richardson was arrested in January but not criminally charged, the department has disciplined the officer.

    August 22, 2014

  • Election board looking into voter fraud allegation The Madison County Election Board delayed a decision into allegations of voter fraud in the May primary until it can gather additional information. Brian Bell, who lost the Democratic Party’s nomination for sheriff by 48 votes to Scott Mellinger, raised allegations to the election board during a hearing Friday.

    August 19, 2014

  • NWS - HB0716 - wigwam - JC 37a City officials hope latest effort saves Wigwam

    After months of discussion and negotiations, the fate of the iconic Wigwam complex may well be determined by the end of the month.The Anderson City Council on Thursday voted to approve a resolution that allows the Anderson Redevelopment Commission to accept ownership of the Wigwam and then immediately transfer the ownership to a still-unnamed development group.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: Yes, Madison County needs a personnel board Earlier this year the Madison County Commissioners voted to disband the Personnel Board, stating it no longer had a function. The fallacy of that assumption was vividly brought to light during last Tuesday’s meeting of the Madison County Council.

    August 16, 2014

  • Dispatch agreement tabled by City Council With no discussion about emergency dispatch services, the Anderson City Council tabled Thursday an ordinance to consolidate those services with Madison County.

    August 14, 2014

  • Larry Crenshaw mug Anderson fire department calls for new headquarters Anderson Fire Department officials have renewed their request for a new headquarters station, in the 2015 budget proposal.

    August 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Madison County asked to join reservoir authority The Madison County Council tabled a request Tuesday to become part of an inter-governmental agency to oversee the creation, development and construction of the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir.

    August 12, 2014

  • Mike Spyers mug Roundabout work to begin at Anderson's 59th Street A contract to begin work on changes to 59th Street west of Scatterfield Road for a future Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant has been approved by the City of Anderson.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Summerlake annexation meeting set Ingalls Town Council has scheduled a workshop to discuss the possibility of annexing the Summerlake community just south of Interstate 69.

    August 12, 2014

  • Anderson Board of Works to consider roundabout contract A contract to begin work on changes to 59th Street west of Scatterfield Road for a future Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant is expected to be approved.

    August 12, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide