VOICE THE VOTE: Crouch wins 6th District straw poll hosted by Henry County GOP

A straw poll among local Republican delegates in the 6th Congressional District was held Saturday, Feb. 17 at Knightstown Community High School.

Shelley Swift | Daily Reporter

KNIGHTSTOWN — The majority of 47 delegates attending a gubernatorial straw poll forum Saturday morning selected Suzanne Crouch as their choice as the next governor of Indiana.

The Henry County Republican Club hosted the straw poll, an unofficial vote commonly used to gauge the popular opinion on topics and candidates.

Despite inclement weather, precinct committee representatives from all 11 counties of the 6th Congressional District attended the event, which was 9-11 a.m. at Knightstown Community High School in Henry County.

The event was solely for delegates from the 6th Congressional District, which includes Fayette, Hancock, Henry, Johnson, Rush, Shelby, Union and Wayne counties as well as parts of Bartholomew, Marion and Randolph counties

Crouch came away with 40% of the vote Saturday with 19 votes, followed by former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who got 34% of delegates’ support with 16 votes.

U.S. Senator Mike Braun came in third with eight votes, followed by three votes for Eric Doden — former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. — and one vote for newcomer Jamie Rittenour, a mother of five running as a “non-politician.”

Per the rules of the straw poll established when candidates were invited in September, only gubernatorial candidates in attendance Saturday could appear on the straw poll ballot, which meant candidate Brad Chambers was ineligible to receive votes.

Those candidates present, along with presidential candidates on the Indiana ballot, were invited to have tables with campaign promotional materials on site.

In the straw poll, 35 candidates cast their ballots for presidential candidate Donald Trump while 12 cast ballots for Nikki Haley.

About 100 members of the public attended Saturday’s forum, gathering in the high school auditorium.

The candidates gave opening and closing statements and answered questions submitted on index cards by audience members.

Moderator Nate LaMar, the former Henry County Council president who organized Saturday’s event, said Knightstown was a great location for the straw poll since it’s near the center point of the local congressional district.

“Since there are so many candidates running, we thought it was important to get the candidates in front of the people so that they could get to know them better and be educated when they go to the polls,” said Melinda Gerrish, president of the Henry County Republican Club.

It was a busy day for the gubernatorial delegates, who were invited to attend both a Lincoln Day Luncheon in Star City as well as a Lincoln Day Dinner in Logansport that day.

As of Saturday, just 80 days remained until Indiana’s primary election takes place May 7.

The general election, which determines both the next Indiana governor and president of the United States, takes place Nov. 5.