TERRE HAUTE —
Democratic incumbent Judith Anderson won a fourth term for Vigo County Commissioner District 2 in a race that was close with a first-time challenging candidate.
Anderson defeated Republican Caleb Fleschner 20,363 to 17,574 votes. The result is unofficial until certified by the Vigo County Election Board on Nov. 16.
“I think it was my name recognition and partially my experience that won the election, but I did not expect [Fleschner] to get that many votes. He is young and ambitious and is a very smart young man,” Anderson, 71, said.
Fleschner, 21, focused on the controversy between Cobblestone Crossing and residents of Woodgate subdivision and a need to change county zoning notification requirements.
Fleschner touted a fresh perspective and change in his campaign.
“I think it was my first time going at it and going up against an established incumbent,” Fleschner said. “I went door to door. I don’t think it was my lack of work ethic” that cost him the election, he said.
Fleschner said he thinks the zoning issue at Cobblestone did bring attention to his campaign.
“I think it did help. I think talking with a lot of people, they realized it could have impacted them in their own back yard. It could happen anywhere in the county,” he said.
Fleschner said he will run again for another office.
“It was a great experience. I learned a lot and met a lot of people and have a lot of new friends in the [Republican] party. I would not have traded the experience for the world,” Fleschner said.
Anderson said commissioners took action, pulling building permits after it was discovered that a member of the Area Plan Commission may have an interest in the development.
“I felt that we did absolutely everything possible that we could do. Until the issue of [Area Plan member] Norm Froderman there was not a problem, but once that came up, I think the commissioners went above and beyond in trying to get a resolution between Cobblestone and the Woodgate people,” Anderson said.
“We tried to get them to come to the table together and went to each one separate to begin with. I don’t think we left anything undone,” Anderson said, adding residents are now getting a wall to separate the developments.
“We absolutely learned something from this,” Anderson added. Commissioners have an ordinance that is near completion and will be acted upon. “It will require everyone involved will be notified by certified mail. I absolutely think that is the way it should be,” she said.
Anderson said as a commissioner, “I think people know where I stand on an issue. If an issue comes up, once I know about it and make a decision, I don’t hide it or hem and haw about it,” she said.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.