News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 9, 2012

Vigo County Council at-large: 44 votes separate Ellis, Moody in GOP race; recount possible

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A 44-vote margin between third and fourth place had Republicans discussing the possibility of a recount in the race for council at-large

The four-candidate contest will send Vigo County Republican Party Chairman Bill Treadway, Craig A. Bales and Steve Ellis to the fall ballot, pending official results.

Vote totals are unofficial until certified by the Vigo County Election Board by noon on May 18.

The last count had Steve Ellis with 2,851 votes with Lonnie Moody, II bringing in 2,807, representing a margin of 44. Council at-large seats are voted upon by the entire county, and voters may select three from the group.

Tuesday evening, Moody said he was still discussing his options with campaign staff about the recount, but he was leaning heavily in that direction given the close numbers.

“But other than that, the voters chose,” he said, emphasizing no ill will is present in the decision. “That’s just the way it lands, I guess.”

Overall voter turnout was about 20 percent, and Moody said that probably played a role.

“It was kind of sad to see the turnout. It was low by comparison,” he said. “I think if more people would have turned out to vote I would have had better results.”

Ellis said he’ll feel no animosity toward Moody regardless his decision.

“Whatever the numbers are, they need to be counted correctly,” he said Tuesday night. “And if that needs a recount, then so be it. If I were in his position, I’d ask for a recount too.”

The owner of Top Guns and the Terre Haute Martial Arts Academy said he’s looking forward to the fall election where he’ll face three Democrats, two of whom are incumbents.

“Actually, I feel really good. I like my chances going into the fall,” he said. “It sounds like a cliché, but I’m looking to be a voice for the people, and look out for the taxpayers’ best interests.”

Treadway, who led the group with 4,479 votes, recalled the recount between Terre Haute mayoral candidates Duke Bennett and Kevin Burke in 2007. Forty-four votes might not sound like much, but that race’s totals were similar enough, he pointed out.

Still, he was happy to win and said the Republicans have a good chance to energize the public in the fall and bring new voices to the council.

Messages left for Bales, who earned second place with 4,042, were not returned Tuesday evening.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or