Hostetter joins council; Vollmer retains seat

Olivia Corya/The Herald
Newly elected Dubois County Council member Nick Hostetter of Jasper hugged his sister Cheryl Schaber of West Baden after his win was announced at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 673 in Jasper on Tuesday night. The other two at-large council seats up for election were captured by Democratic incumbents Greg Kendall and Martha Wehr. For a gallery of photos, click here.

 

By JOHN SEASLY
Herald Staff Writer

In the Dubois County council and commissioner races Tuesday, incumbent Democrats retained most of their seats. A lone Republican claimed victory.

The final results of the two races were announced at 9:12 p.m., more than three hours after the polls had closed.

Commissioners President Larry Vollmer, the incumbent Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Larry Jones for the District 1 seat. Vollmer, who is in his 12th year as a commissioner, secured 9,185 votes, 51.72 percent of the 17,758 cast in the race.

As the precinct votes were tallied, updates on the race remained extremely close right to the end.

“I almost had another heart attack,” Vollmer said of the prolonged wait for the election results. “I don’t like to see races that close when I’m involved.”

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Democrat Larry Vollmer of Jasper received a congratulatory phone call with his wife, Mary, after it was announced he had won re-election as Dubois County commissioner for District 1 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Tuesday night. Vollmer held off Republican opponent Larry Jones.

 

The light heart attack he was referring to happened just this past weekend. When he went to the hospital Saturday not feeling well, he was told he’d had a light heart attack. He had a coronary stent put in and was hospitalized overnight.

Commissioner Randy Fleck, a Democrat, also won re-election to his District 3 seat, running unopposed.

The race for the three at-large county council seats was one of the closest of the night. Three incumbent Democrats — Greg Kendall, Bonnie Luebbehusen and Martha Wehr — were challenged by two Republicans, Nick Hostetter and Patrick Schuler. Voters were able to cast ballots for three candidates, and the three who got the most the votes won the seats.

Kendall, a member of the council since 1984 and its current president, took in the most votes of any candidate, with 10,165 of the 45,778 votes cast in the race, or 22.2 percent. Wehr won a second term, with 9,335 votes, or 20.39 percent.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Wehr said of the election. “I’m glad it’s behind me so I can go ahead and concentrate on the job now.”

Hostetter came in third, with 9,184 votes, or 20.06 percent. Hostetter’s win unseated one-term council member Luebbehusen, who had a vote total just 46 shy of Hostetter’s, at 9,138 votes, or 19.96 percent. Schuler took 7,956 votes, or 17.38 percent.

“I’m ecstatic,” Hostetter said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

A spot on the county council is something Hostetter said he has thought about for a long time.
“My dad served on the county council for 22 years, so I always had an inkling to get involved,” he said. Eugene Hostetter served on the council as a Democrat starting in 1970.

After the winners were announced, Kendall voiced high regard for all of the candidates.
Anytime there are five solid candidates, he said, the race will always be close.

“I’m just so proud of all the hard work that everybody put into it, and all the hard work that everybody did for me,” he said. “It’s going to be great for me to serve another four years. I absolutely love it.”

Contact John Seasly at jseasly@dcherald.com.




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