By Howard Greninger
TERRE HAUTE — Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-Terre Haute, will remain in the Indiana General Assembly for another two years, as the 12-year incumbent defeated Republican challenger Ryan Cummins for the House District 43 seat.
With 96 percent of precincts in from the state district that covers most of Terre Haute and all of Seelyville in Vigo County and Staunton in western Clay County, Kersey had 56 percent of the vote, ahead 11,854 votes to 9,466.
In Vigo County, Kersey had 12,927 votes with Cummins gaining 9,894 votes.
Cummins, 52, a former Terre Haute city councilman and business owner, said this election was “a year that certainly, when you look at the results, it is a tough year to be a Republican. There are reasons for that, but certainly you have to give a lot of credit of the organization of the Democrat Party to get new folks registered and out to vote. The Republican Party was not able to turn out those numbers not quite as much,” he said.
“My message was a message of individual responsibility, that your life is your life and your money is your money,” Cummins said. “I was not able to communicate that well enough. The only guy who is responsible for that coming up short is me. Should the opportunity arise for me, I will try to do a better job next time.”
Kersey, 70, a retired high-school teacher and former County Council president, said Cummins “was a good opponent. He is a class act and we kept our campaigns on a high level, did not bad-mouth and we kept to the issues and were able to debate our views.”
“I think that every two years, you have to get the support of the people. Our record is being used by the public each time we run for election. That is the democratic way and I support that.
“I think this was a different year because of the presidential election. There was more enthusiasm and excitement than any election I have been in and that carried over in terms of the election. [Obama] doing well in Vigo County probably helped us get additional votes,” Kersey said.
In Vigo County, Kersey received 11,947 votes, while Cummins got 9,386.
Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@