Democrat John A. Wilkes may soon have to change political hats after capturing the Democrat nomination for mayor of Linton in Tuesday’s election with a large vote margin.
Wilkes won 961 to 201 over challenger Michael R. Hennette. All votes are unofficial until certified May 13 by the Greene County Election Board.
Wilkes will have to wait until June 30 to find out if he has a Republican opponent in the November election. If no opponent arises, Wilkes will have to step down from his position as president of the Greene County Council.
“I had a lot of people working for me and had a team put together that worked hard for the last several weeks and have a lot of friends here in town. I have been involved in the community for the past 40 years,” Wilkes said.
He is owner of Mercury Cleaners, a dry cleaning and custom draping business.
If elected to mayor in November, Wilkes said would concentrate on improving sewer and water lines in Linton as well as the city’s sewer treatment plant.
“We will try to work on creating some jobs, which is hard to do in a small town,” he said. “We will try to work on what we already have — our tourism and the fishing industry here. We have the Goose Pond wetlands to work with and just try to enhance the local things that we have,” Wilkes said.
In addition, Wilkes said Linton needs to work with public schools to create a good workforce for businesses locating on the west gate of the Crane Naval Surface Warfare facility.
Tuesday marked the first time Wilkes had run for mayor. He has, however, been elected to three terms on the county council, currently serving in the first year of his third term.
In the race for City Council Precinct 4, Democrat incumbent Linda D. Bedwell won with 192 votes over 79 for challenger Matt Mason. Democrat incumbent Jerry L. Ellett lost the Precinct 5 council seat to challenger Fred Markle. Markle got 108 votes, while Ellett got 92 votes. Republican Kegan Inman got 4 votes.
Incumbent Democrat Charles “Charlie” Cox also lost in Precinct 6 to challenger Jathan Wright, who received 208 votes, compared with 98 for Cox; and incumbent Nigel W. Lehman was able to hold onto Precinct 7, with 148 votes, compared with 71 for challenger Kenneth “Bud” Klein. Republican Jared Albright got 33 votes.
Democrat Tony Richards was unopposed in Precinct 3, getting 138 votes.
In Jasonville, incumbent clerk-treasurer Charlotte Thomas won the Democrat nomination with 94 votes, topping Jane E. Landry who got 73 votes. Republican James R. Seifert received 29 votes.
Mayor Roy L. Terrell Sr. was unopposed in his re-election bid with 143 votes. Republicans have until June 30 to place a candidate on the November ballot. Overall, 29.6 percent of voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election in Greene County with 1,444 ballots out of 4,865 registered voters.
Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or email@example.com.