News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 7, 2014

Pruett edges Loudermilk for Harrison assessor

Preliminary results show race decided by 37 votes

TERRE HAUTE — Don Pruett appears to have won the Harrison Township Assessor’s race on the Democratic Party ticket, defeating Terre Haute elected official Norm Loudermilk.

Pruett, chief deputy assessor, had a narrow 37-vote advantage over his opponent, a longtime City Council member, when all 44 precincts were counted and provisional results were posted Tuesday night at the Vigo County Courthouse.

Results showed Pruett receiving 1,779 votes to Loudermilk’s 1,742.

“I’m hopeful I won,” Pruett said after the results were in. “I got a lot of good support.” He singled out campaign volunteer Dave Roberts for his help in conducting Pruett’s first-ever campaign for elected office.

Loudermilk, a Terre Haute firefighter and five-term member of the City Council, said he worked as hard as he could in the campaign and congratulated his opponent on a good campaign. “I want to thank the people who supported me.”

Asked whether he might seek a recount, Loudermilk, 49, said he had not thought that far ahead yet, but said he felt he would have served Harrison Township well as township assessor had he been elected.

“I’m not going to have sour grapes about this,” Loudermilk said. “I’ll continue to serve on the City Council” as best I can.

Due to a change in state law, Loudermilk, who serves on the Terre Haute Fire Department, will not be permitted to run for re-election to the council in 2015.

The deadline for a candidate to seek a recount is noon on May 20.

Pruett, 60, said he felt he and Loudermilk ran clean campaigns and avoided attacking each other.

“I’m very proud of the way we both ran our campaigns,” Pruett said. “Norm ran a clean campaign. I think I ran a clean campaign. I have nothing but respect for Norm.”

If he is officially declared the winner, Pruett currently has no Republican opponent to face in the November general election. Because of the certification requirements in place for assessors in Indiana, there is little time left for any potential GOP challenger to obtain the certifications necessary to serve as a township assessor, meaning Pruett may be unopposed in November.

Both Pruett and Loudermilk have obtained the “Level 3” certifications required to serve as a newly elected township assessor in Indiana.

“My door’s always open” to taxpayers, Pruett said. “I’ll do anything I can for them, as long as it’s within the law.”

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes


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