TERRE HAUTE —
A new legislator will be representing Indiana House District 42 come 2013. But as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, it was unclear whether that person would be Republican Alan Morrison or Democrat Mark Spelbring.
Trouble with ballot counts in Vermillion and Clay counties delayed final results on Tuesday night. With two precincts remaining uncounted in Vermillion County, and part of a precinct uncounted in Clay County, Morrison was in the lead by a few hundred votes on an unofficial count.
A tally of votes that had been reported showed voting reported as follows:
Morrison had 2,891 votes in Clay County; 1,625 in Fountain County; 2,609 in Parke County; 2,135 in Vermillion County; 2,772 in Vigo County; and 186 in Warren County.
Spelbring had 2,532 votes in Clay County; 730 in Fountain County; 2,666 in Parke County; 2,908 in Vermillion County; 2,778 in Vigo County; and 62 votes in Warren County.
That put the unofficial vote count at 12,218 for Morrison, and 11,676 for Spelbring.
Both candidates watched the race closely throughout the evening.
Morrison, contacted at his home, said he expected the contest to be close.
“It’s a pretty 50-50 district,” he said of the split between Democrats and Republicans. “I certainly did not expect a blowout either way.”
Spelbring, who spent much of the evening at the Parke County Courthouse, declined to make a statement before all precincts reported their final counts. He trailed in the race by about 542 votes with three precincts and provisional ballots remaining uncounted.
Spelbring is a native of Clay County who recently retired as Parke County Extension director after serving more than 25 years in Parke and Vermillion Counties. He resides in Rockville.
Morrison is a resident of Seelyville in Vigo County, and is employed as assistant director for recreational facilities at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
District 42 covers Vermillion County, most of Parke County, and parts of Clay, Fountain, Warren and Vigo counties. Communities in the area include Attica, Rockville, Williamsport, Rosedale, Brazil, Staunton, New Goshen, Clinton and Covington. The new boundaries for the district go into effect at the start of 2013.