TERRE HAUTE —
In tiny increments, the Vigo County Republican Party is making itself a relevant force in local politics, and we could not be more pleased with its progress.
A viable two-party system is good for government and serves the people well.
Last Tuesday, Republicans continued their measured assault on offices once thought all but safe in the hands of Democrats. Longtime officeholder Brad Anderson, the only GOP member of the County Council, defeated 14-year incumbent Paul Mason to capture one of three county commissioner seats. The last Republican commissioner was Jim Adams, who served from 1979 to 1994.
Anderson will join Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett and Prosecutor Terry Modesitt as Republicans holding high offices in Vigo County. It’s a significant gain for the GOP. Not only do Republicans hold two of the three top elected offices (only Sheriff Greg Ewing is a Democrat in that triumvirate), they now have one of the three county commissioners seats.
Don’t be tempted to write this off to voter whimsy. Bennett and Modesitt have both won re-elections. Given Anderson’s track record and strong reputation in the county, he will be hard to dislodge in four years if he does the good job everyone expects him to do.
We applaud voters’ willingness to split their tickets and reward a minority party when it puts strong candidates on the ballot. That hasn’t always been the case in Vigo County. A more independent and thoughtful electorate is a positive trend for our community.
Likewise, we congratulate Anderson and his party for another big gain on the local political scene. As officeholders such as Mayor Bennett and Prosecutor Modesitt have shown, political partisanship does not have be an obstacle to good government. We anticipate Anderson will also govern in that fashion. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get that kind of approach and cooperation from elected officials on the state and federal levels?