Two incumbents and one newcomer captured three at-large district seats on the Terre Haute City Council in the general election Tuesday.
Democrat Tammy Boland won her first elected office and led the ticket with 7,226 votes with 50 of 51 precincts reported as of 10 p.m. Boland also led the ticket in the primary election in May. Incumbents George Azar and Curtis DeBaun IV won re-election, a second term for DeBaun and a sixth term for Azar.
DeBaun captured 7,045 votes while Azar got 6,530 votes with 50 of 51 precincts reporting. Republican Steven B. Neice got 5,201 votes while Libertarian James Dale Rodenberger received 2,353 votes with 50 of 51 precincts reported.
All votes are unofficial until certified by the Vigo County Election Board, which has until Nov. 18 to certify results.
“I am just grateful,” said Boland, 61. “I feel like I didn’t know that much about campaigning for myself. I have campaigned for other candidates in the past,” adding she thinks she ran a good campaign based on the results.
“I said I would remain honest and try and continue to be a person of integrity. I will always remember that I am just the voice of the people, I am nobody’s vessel,” she said. “I am not truly a politician and like to think of myself as a public servant. Politics is the method by which we get elected, but after that we can decide if we are going to be politicians or truly stay public servants. I hope if ever switch from a public servant to a politician, somebody reminds me what the job is,” Boland said.
Boland said her first win is exciting and said she could not have won the election without the support of her family.
DeBaun, 37, said winning re-election to a second term means more to him than his first victory.
“Winning my first term four years ago meant a lot, but winning re-election means a lot more. I feel that it shows that the voters feel that I have been doing a good job and I really appreciate that,” DeBaun said.
“I am really looking forward to seeing what this council and what the city will be able to do in the next four years,” DeBaun said.
Azar, 72, took his sixth re-election in stride, saying he is “very happy and humble that the voters saw fit to re-elect me for a sixth term and I hope I serve them in this term as well as I did in my first term,” Azar said.
“I am going to concentrate on doing what is best for the taxpayers of the city and hope things continue on an upward level so that everyone is satisfied with what we are doing on the City Council and I want what we do to be transparent,” Azar said.
In the District 2 race, incumbent O. Earl Elliott won a second term, but under a different party.
Elliott was first elected as a Republican, but a dispute with the GOP chair led to him filing as a Democrat. He received 2,145 votes, capturing 57.6 percent of the votes in the district. He defeated Republican Diana Windsted-Smith who got 1,281 votes and Green Party candidate Sarah Elizabeth Dillon who got 292 votes.
Elliott, 65, said running on the Democrat ticket “for me is a non-issue, it is all about serving the voters of the second district and I want to thank them for giving me this opportunity to serve them for four more years. I believe our community has some momentum that we need to build on and I look forward to growing some community unity,” Elliott said.
Elliott said ran on his qualifications as a certified public accountant and the City Council “being a fiscal body and the financial experience I have being an asset to the council. We all bring different perspectives on the council based on our constituents in the different parts of the city and as long as we are all are able to make informed decisions to represent those constituencies, then I think we will have good results and will continue to more forward.”
In District 3, the name Loudermilk will return to the City Council.
Democrat Cheryl Loudermilk defeated Republican Bill Treadway, collecting 903 votes and 50.9 percent of the vote in the district, compared to 871 votes or 49.1 percent of the vote for Treadway.
Her husband, Norm Loudermilk, an assistant chief of fire prevention division for the city, previously served five, four-year terms as District 3 city councilman before a change in state law that does not allow police or firefighters to sit on the governing body that oversees salaries for those department.
“I had to go out and work no matter what. Yes I have the name recognition in the district, but that is good and bad,” Loudermilk said, adding that voters were casting a ballot for her.
“I am just humbled and excited to get started and I will work hard for all citizens of the city,” Loudermilk said. “It was nerve racking and was a long election. I am truly excited. I do see a lot of hope for the future with the turnout in this election, with so many people coming out to vote for what they believed in. With some new revenue coming in, this will push Terre Haute’s economy up and help grow Terre Haute. I am excited to see new things coming to Terre Haute and I am hoping to help with bringing some new jobs, new opportunities and new entertainment here. I just see us growing.”
The election was unique, Treadway said, as he and Loudermilk are close friends.
“Congratulations to Cheryl. We have been friends for 35 years and I take my hat off to her. I think she will be a great council member,” Treadway said.
Winning unopposed were Amy Auler for the District 1 seat with 1,560 votes with 9 of 10 precincts reported; Todd Nation for the District 4 seat with 576 votes; Neil Garrison for the District 5 seat with 1,343 votes; and Martha Crossen for the District 6 seat with 1,447 votes.