County council veterans retain seats

Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
Dubois County Council District 3 incumbent candidate Charmian Klem, her daughter Ada, 15 months, Dubois County Recorder candidate Jackie McPherron and Stacy Lindauer of Jasper review results during the Republicans' election results watch party at the Schnitz Brewery and Pub in Jasper on Tuesday. 

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

Nora Klem is just glad her mother, Charmian, doesn’t have to go back out. Meanwhile, Mary “Becky” Beckman is still nursing a sore knee.

Campaigning takes a physical toll on local candidates, who spend months traversing shifty stairways and uneven terrain while knocking on doors to spread their message. It paid off for Charmian and Beckman, who both retained their Dubois County Council seats over first time challengers in Tuesday’s midterm election.

“I’m getting too old for this stuff,” Beckman said with a laugh after the results were finalized. “The heat, and the steep steps, somebody calling you a name ... and I finally got a (cortisol) shot in my knee today.”

Though Nora is happy Mom is home now, the 9-year-old was a big cheerleader for Charmian while she campaigned. Some days, Charmian wanted nothing more than to stay home and play with Nora and her son Ty, 8, and daughter Ada, 1.

“But I was like, ‘Go,’” Nora said emphatically, drawing out the ‘o,’ after her mother secured the victory over Democrat Deborah Major. “You gotta go. Get. Get out of here.”

Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Mary "Becky" Beckman of Jasper receives congratulations on winning her election for the District 2 seat on the Dubois County Council from Janice Sermersheim of Jasper during the Democrats' election results watch party at the Moose Lodge in Jasper on Tuesday. 

Beckman defeated Republican businessman Darren Patterson by just over 600 votes to secure the District 2 seat, and Charmian beat challenger Major  by 1,688 votes to lock down the District 3 seat. The council determines county employee salaries, and adopts the county’s budget. District 2 covers precincts 2 East, 2 West, 3 East, 4 North, 4 South, 5 South and 6 South in Bainbridge Township.  District 3 covers Columbia, Ferdinand, Hall, Jackson, Jefferson and Marion townships on the eastern side of the county.

Issues important to Klem include the ongoing county wage study, the potential Mid-States Corridor construction, and the future of the county jail. Beckman is also concerned with the jail, as well as the creation of a human resources position that serves county employees.

Patterson said the campaign was a learning experience, and he didn’t rule out running for public office in the future. If he could do it again, he’d work with a team instead of shouldering the load with his family.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” Patterson said, adding that the election process was fun. “The big lesson for me was it was a lot more than I anticipated.”

Major said the campaigning experience was positive because she met people she would not have otherwise. She does not have plans to run for office in the future.

“I don’t regret running at all, because the whole reason that I ran is because I thought I had something to offer,” she said.

Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Mary "Becky" Beckman of Jasper shakes hands with Darren Patterson of Jasper, her opponent in the District 2 seat on the Dubois County Council, during the Democrats' election results watch party at the Moose Lodge in Jasper on Tuesday. Beckman was elected to the seat and Patterson came to the Moose Lodge to congratulate her. 



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