Updated totals from the 2019 Boone County general election show a robust election day turnout of nearly 32 percent, with Zionsville races and ZCS operations and construction referendums clearly driving voters to the ballot box this fall. Whitestown, Jamestown and Ulen also had races last week. Lebanon’s election had already been decided during the primary, so those voters stayed home.
Nearly 8,000 ballots were cast in the mayor’s race between incumbent Tim Haak (R) and his challenger Emily Styron (D), with Styron winning 50.55% to 49.45%, a difference of just .1% or 98 votes.
Many of the council seats — all presently held by Republicans — were set to turn over, with several town council members not returning in 2020. Despite the fact that the mayor’s seat flipped from a Republican to a Democrat, all of the town council seats stayed within the Republican party.
Incumbents Bryan Traylor, (R-District 1), and Josh Garrett (R-District 5) ran unopposed for re-election.
District 2 went to Jason Plunkett, a Republican who previously had been appointed to an at-large seat. He defeated his challenger Julie Johns-Cole 63% to 37%. The District 3 seat went to Craig Melton (R) over Tim Ottinger (D), 61% to 39%.
The contest was a bit closer for the two at-large seats, with the two Republican candidates Alex Choi and Brad Burk coming out on top (29% and 28% respectively) over the two Democratic challengers Bret Brewer (20%) and Kristine Towns (19%). Libertarian candidate Michael Kaminski claimed 4% of the vote.
Closer still was the race for the District 4 seat, featuring Republican Joe Culp and Democrat Andrea Simmons. Culp won with 52% of the vote, compared to Simmons’ 48%, which represents a difference of 79 votes of the 1,609 cast in that race.
While Zionsville’s town government will be noticeably different next year, Whitestown’s will stay the same.
Whitestown’s incumbents won all the contested races. Republican incumbent in District 1 Susan Austin defeated independent challenger Sam Sortor. In District 3, Republican incumbent Eric Miller defeated Democrat Kisha Rollins and Libertarian Erik Charles.
The other big race of the night saw the first election in memory for the Ulen Town Board. The incumbents — Steve Lewis, Jennifer E. Jones and Elmer D. Parks — won handily. Parks was the top vote-getter with 60 votes; then Jones with 58 votes and Lewis captured 49 votes.
The incumbents beat Craig Eigenbrod with 19 votes, Kenneth C. Keen with 25 votes and Mary Frances Meyer with 21 votes.
In Jamestown, there was only one contested race for town council. There Michael (Shane) Childress defeated Jennifer (Jen) McGee, 85 to 65 votes.
The last municipal election in 2015 — which featured a contested mayor’s race in Lebanon — had a voter turnout of 27 percent. That year Zionsville had no contested races in the general election, but 6,260 Zionsville voters still turned out to offer broad support for a ZCS operations referendum.