Sheriff’s deputy elected North Vernon mayor
Republican Mike Ochs narrowly defeated Democrat Matt Hurley to become North Vernon’s next mayor.Ochs, a Jennings County sheriff’s deputy, edged Hurley, a Duke Energy employee, by 18 votes. Ochs received 697 votes (50.65 percent) to 679 (49.35 percent) for Hurley.Ochs succeeds Harold “Soup” Campbell, who decided not to seek re-election after serving two terms.
He will work with a city council made up of three Republicans and two Democrats.
Republican Jerry Lamb received 847 votes (61.7 percent) in the council at-large race to defeat Democrat Allane Colbert, who received 525 votes (38.3 percent).
Republican Jack Kelley defeated Democrat David Shaw in the District 1 race, receiving 738 votes (54 percent) to Shaw’s 629 votes (46 percent).
Democrat Connie Rayburn won the District 3 election over Republican Baron Wilder, receiving 711 votes (52 percent) compared to Wilder’s 659 votes (48 percent).
Republican Brian Hatfield beat Democrat Bobby Stearns for the District 4 seat, receiving 765 votes (56.5 percent) compared to Stearns’ 590 votes (43.5 percent).
District 2 city council candidate Trent Wisner, a Democrat, and clerk-treasurer candidate Shawn Gerkin, a Democrat, were unopposed.
Edinburgh picks 2 incumbents, newcomer for town council
Two incumbents and a newcomer will set the budget and decide what road improvements need to be made in Edinburgh.Five Edinburgh residents vied for three at-large spots on the town council.Republican Dawn Graham garnered 267 votes (22 percent), while independents Jerry Lollar got 252 and Jeff Simpson 245 (each with about 21 percent) also claimed victory. Republican James “Big Jim” Burton got 214 votes (18 percent), and independent Ron Hoffman, a current council member, received 198 votes (17 percent).
Graham, Simpson and Lollar will join town council members Jack Shepherd and Kami Ervin, whose terms do not end until 2018. Town council members serve four-year terms.
Edinburgh’s clerk-treasurer won re-election over a challenger who had been an employee of the town for 32 years before she retired.
Independent Scott Finley defeated Jackie Burton, also an independent. Finley got 261 votes (60 percent) to Burton’s 173 (40 percent).
The clerk-treasurer is in charge of paying the town’s bills and employee salaries and keeping track of town records.
Finley took over as clerk-treasurer in 2013 after he was appointed to the position following former clerk-treasurer Jackie Smith’s retirement.