Incumbent Chris Ogle narrowly defeated Marcus Speer for the Republican nomination for the Bartholomew County Council District 1 seat. Ogle won by a mere 42 votes over Speer, capturing 51 percent of the vote total.
He will face Democrat Jean Marr Wilkins in the November general election.
Ogle and Speer each held the lead at some point as precinct totals came in Tuesday night. Ogle said that’s because both he and Speer could bring valuable experience to the table.
“It was really close, and I believe both of us can do a good job,” he said. “It could have gone either way and the county would have won in both directions.”
Ogle said he’s looking forward to the general election and feels that if he wins, the experience he gained from his previous term as councilman will benefit residents.
“I’m excited to be able to go into it with a fresh look,” he said.
Speer, who is Rockcreek Township Board secretary, said he had hoped for more voter participation.
“Some of them might not have gotten out of the fields to vote my way,” he said.
Speer said he wouldn’t rule out running for public office in the future.
Ogle said he thinks county officials and their staff have done a great job providing services to the community while minimizing costs and he plans to continue that effort.
While the County Annex building’s future seems to have been resolved after the council approved $3.25 million for the project, Ogle said there’s still work to be done.
“We will be focusing on complying with the new Affordable Care Act and trying to reduce our costs,” he said.
He would like to see more visitors’ commission money going to places besides the Columbus Area Visitors Center, he said.
County Council District 1
Chris Ogle 1,075
Marcus Speer 1,033