Few Voters Turn Out For Tuesday’s Town Elections

November 7, 2023 at 8:42 p.m.
Election inspector Patty Yarian (L) speaks to poll workers Jack Brunetto (back) and DeAnna Ragan (R) after turning in some of the election results at the Kosciusko County Justice Building Tuesday night. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Election inspector Patty Yarian (L) speaks to poll workers Jack Brunetto (back) and DeAnna Ragan (R) after turning in some of the election results at the Kosciusko County Justice Building Tuesday night. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By JACKIE GORSKI Lifestyles Editor
By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

With just a handful of town general elections Tuesday, the turnout was just as small.
For the town of Sidney Town Council election, 25 voters turned out; with 68 for Mentone, 67 for Etna Green (including one voter for Nappanee) and 50 for Claypool between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday. Throw in the absentee votes and a total of 223 voters took part in the elections in Kosciusko County.
Cities like Warsaw, Syracuse and Winona Lake didn’t have general elections because there were no contested races.
“It’s the smallest (election) since I’ve been chair,” said Mike Ragan, Kosciusko County Republican Central Committee chair.
According to information provided by the county clerk’s office, voter turnout Tuesday was 15.32% of the 1,456 registered voters in the towns. In the May primary - which only had races in Syracuse, Winona Lake and Jefferson Precinct for the town of Nappanee - voter turnout was 679 people out of 5,922 eligible registered voters, or 11.47%. The city of Warsaw didn’t have a primary election either because there were no contested races.
For Claypool, incumbent and Republican Benny R. Stage Jr. will retain his North District seat on the Claypool Town Council, receiving 25 votes to Libertarian Paul Mullins’ 24.
“I look forward to working with the town board on our projects and the projects to come. I look forward to benefitting the town,” Stage said Tuesday night.
For the Center District, Republican Nate Morton received 27 votes to Democrat Elizabeth Heiman’s 22.
Republican Gene Warner received 33 votes for the South District, beating out challenger and Democrat Dave Morgan who had 17.
“I’m glad of that and I want to thank all the voters who voted for me. We’ve got a lot to do the next four years to get done, work on trying to get done and to try to get done,” Gene Warner said.
The biggest thing the town needs to get done now is working on grants for the wastewater utility to satisfy the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, he said. A couple previous grant applications fell through, but he said it’s looking good going forward on satisfying IDEM.
“That’s the biggest project. If we get that done, we can move forward on many other things,” Gene Warner said.
Libertarian Pat Warner will hold on to the clerk-treasurer position as she received 25 votes. Challenger and Republican Miranda N. Stage earned 22 votes.
Republicans Jill Gross and Shelly Krueger got re-elected to the Mentone Town Council, as well as Democrat Tim Croy. Gross received 59 votes, Krueger received 61 votes and Croy received 62 votes. Democrat Hannah Beliles received 28 votes. Clerk-Treasurer Amanda Yaprack, who was unopposed, received 67 votes.
Gross said she was very happy to be re-elected to the Mentone Town Council and to continue work on the town’s projects.
Krueger said she was very happy she was re-elected as she has some things she’d like to work on, such a personnel policy and ideas with the Farmers Market. She said she’d be helping the town even if she wasn’t elected and not all of her ideas required her to be on the council.
Croy, who was re-elected to his sixth term, said he first wanted to thank the community. He said his belief is it’s about the town and not him, so he appreciates the community standing behind the council. He also wanted to thank Beliles for showing interest and getting involved.
The Etna Green Town Council saw an incumbent fail to win re-election as Republican Keith Claassen received the fewest amount of votes of the four candidates for the three council seats. Incumbents Republican Jason Hanes and Libertarian Susan Klinefelter received 43 votes and 55 votes, respectively. Republican Heath Roberts received 50 votes, while Claassen received 35 votes. Clerk-Treasurer Patti Cook, who was unopposed, received 44 votes.
Republican Heath Roberts said he was excited about being elected to the Etna Green Town Council. He thinks it’s a good thing for the town and said he hopes to get some things changed in the town.
All incumbents were re-elected to the Sidney Town Council.
The only Republican on the council, Sharon Rancourt, received 21 votes. Brandon Allen received 22 votes and Gavin Parrett received 12 votes, while challenger Rebecca Adams received 10 votes. Clerk-Treasurer Lisa Parrett, a Republican, received 17 votes.
For the city of Nappanee elections, the only Kosciusko County precinct involved was Jefferson Precinct and only one voter from that precinct voted in this county. The winner of the Nappanee Common Council 3rd District is Republican Amy Rosa over Democrat Charlie Burkley.

With just a handful of town general elections Tuesday, the turnout was just as small.
For the town of Sidney Town Council election, 25 voters turned out; with 68 for Mentone, 67 for Etna Green (including one voter for Nappanee) and 50 for Claypool between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday. Throw in the absentee votes and a total of 223 voters took part in the elections in Kosciusko County.
Cities like Warsaw, Syracuse and Winona Lake didn’t have general elections because there were no contested races.
“It’s the smallest (election) since I’ve been chair,” said Mike Ragan, Kosciusko County Republican Central Committee chair.
According to information provided by the county clerk’s office, voter turnout Tuesday was 15.32% of the 1,456 registered voters in the towns. In the May primary - which only had races in Syracuse, Winona Lake and Jefferson Precinct for the town of Nappanee - voter turnout was 679 people out of 5,922 eligible registered voters, or 11.47%. The city of Warsaw didn’t have a primary election either because there were no contested races.
For Claypool, incumbent and Republican Benny R. Stage Jr. will retain his North District seat on the Claypool Town Council, receiving 25 votes to Libertarian Paul Mullins’ 24.
“I look forward to working with the town board on our projects and the projects to come. I look forward to benefitting the town,” Stage said Tuesday night.
For the Center District, Republican Nate Morton received 27 votes to Democrat Elizabeth Heiman’s 22.
Republican Gene Warner received 33 votes for the South District, beating out challenger and Democrat Dave Morgan who had 17.
“I’m glad of that and I want to thank all the voters who voted for me. We’ve got a lot to do the next four years to get done, work on trying to get done and to try to get done,” Gene Warner said.
The biggest thing the town needs to get done now is working on grants for the wastewater utility to satisfy the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, he said. A couple previous grant applications fell through, but he said it’s looking good going forward on satisfying IDEM.
“That’s the biggest project. If we get that done, we can move forward on many other things,” Gene Warner said.
Libertarian Pat Warner will hold on to the clerk-treasurer position as she received 25 votes. Challenger and Republican Miranda N. Stage earned 22 votes.
Republicans Jill Gross and Shelly Krueger got re-elected to the Mentone Town Council, as well as Democrat Tim Croy. Gross received 59 votes, Krueger received 61 votes and Croy received 62 votes. Democrat Hannah Beliles received 28 votes. Clerk-Treasurer Amanda Yaprack, who was unopposed, received 67 votes.
Gross said she was very happy to be re-elected to the Mentone Town Council and to continue work on the town’s projects.
Krueger said she was very happy she was re-elected as she has some things she’d like to work on, such a personnel policy and ideas with the Farmers Market. She said she’d be helping the town even if she wasn’t elected and not all of her ideas required her to be on the council.
Croy, who was re-elected to his sixth term, said he first wanted to thank the community. He said his belief is it’s about the town and not him, so he appreciates the community standing behind the council. He also wanted to thank Beliles for showing interest and getting involved.
The Etna Green Town Council saw an incumbent fail to win re-election as Republican Keith Claassen received the fewest amount of votes of the four candidates for the three council seats. Incumbents Republican Jason Hanes and Libertarian Susan Klinefelter received 43 votes and 55 votes, respectively. Republican Heath Roberts received 50 votes, while Claassen received 35 votes. Clerk-Treasurer Patti Cook, who was unopposed, received 44 votes.
Republican Heath Roberts said he was excited about being elected to the Etna Green Town Council. He thinks it’s a good thing for the town and said he hopes to get some things changed in the town.
All incumbents were re-elected to the Sidney Town Council.
The only Republican on the council, Sharon Rancourt, received 21 votes. Brandon Allen received 22 votes and Gavin Parrett received 12 votes, while challenger Rebecca Adams received 10 votes. Clerk-Treasurer Lisa Parrett, a Republican, received 17 votes.
For the city of Nappanee elections, the only Kosciusko County precinct involved was Jefferson Precinct and only one voter from that precinct voted in this county. The winner of the Nappanee Common Council 3rd District is Republican Amy Rosa over Democrat Charlie Burkley.

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