Incumbents sweep county racesNovember 3, 2020
By Herald Staff
The final election results are in for Dubois County.
In total, 22,100 of the county’s 30,849 registered voters turned out to the polls, or 71.64%. In comparison, voter turnout in the county was 66.49% in 2016's presidential election and 63.79% in 2012.
The county’s early voting turnout this election was 54.08%.
Trump wins big in Dubois County
Republican incumbents President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence claimed a dominant 68.94% share of the presidential election vote in Dubois County in Tuesday’s election.
The pair notched 15,032 votes locally — thousands more than the Democrat team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who received 6,292 votes from Dubois County voters.
Libertarian duo Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen took home 432 votes, and 49 names were written in.
Kluesner secures second term
Mike Kluesner is excited.
Shortly after final election results revealed that he’d earned a second consecutive term on the Dubois County Council, the incumbent Republican thanked those who supported him — and looked ahead to the next four years.
“I’m the type of person, I want to be involved in things,” he said Tuesday evening. “And there’s just so much work left to be done. And I just promise that I’ll spend my next four years giving 100% to make Dubois County the best county in the state.”
Kluesner, 70, notched the second-highest vote total among the at-large county council candidates by pulling in 10,440 votes. When asked about his priorities, he spoke of continuing his involvement in the county’s ongoing jail planning, addressing failing sewers in the area and tackling day-to-day issues that arise.
“I feel I know a lot more about the council,” he said of the experience he has accumulated since being elected in 2016. “It’s not something that you can go in and pick up right away. I think we had some great people to work with on the council, and to learn all the budgeting and all that, and the balancing of the money. I’ve just learned a lot.”
Four more years for Haas
Sonya Haas is excited, too. But she’s also exhausted.
Safe and socially distanced door-to-door campaigning made for long days leading up to Tuesday’s election.
“I will sleep good tonight,” she said with a laugh, shortly after it was announced that she’d brought in the third-highest total vote total of the at-large council race with 10,359 votes.
Haas, 48, a republican incumbent, was first elected to the group in 2016. As she looks forward to her second term, she’s planning to work with her fellow council members to “do what we can to keep the county safe, keep it prospering and still trying to keep that budget balanced,” she explained.
Haas later added that: “I just want to say that it has been an honor and a privilege, honestly, to serve the county of Dubois. I was born here, grew up here. When I ran the first time, I was super excited to do it. And once you get in, get your feet wet, get to serve on some of these boards, get to learn even more what goes on behind the scenes — it’s interesting and exciting.”
She continued: “And I love it. Just knowing you can do whatever you can to help the county, it’s just been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Doug Uebelhor’s journey through local politics has had its twists and turns. Tuesday, Dubois County voters decided that the Republican incumbent’s political journey will continue for at least four more years.
Uebelhor notched the highest vote total in the at-large county council rate with 10,692 votes. A Dubois County Commissioner from 2010 to 2014, he moves into his second term on the council feeling like he can continue to help and make decisions that benefit his county.
“And I just feel that I just want to keep giving back to the community that’s given me so much over the years,” Uebelhor said Tuesday. “That I’m just happy to keep doing it. I’m glad that everybody for me to stay in. That just makes me feel great that there’s so many people that support me out in our community.”
His biggest priority for his new council term is centered on the development of a long-term strategic plan to soundly contain finances and identify and plan for necessary future projects.
Uebelhor joined the commissioners as a single guy seeking to become more involved in his community. Now married to his wife, Kaitlin, and a father to the couple’s 11-month-old daughter, Emma — the 40-year-old Uebelhor reflected on how rewarding the evolution of his life has been.
“I just have to thank everybody that got out and voted and supported me,” he said. “I mean, I’m just in kind of awe right now. Just seeing the total ending [voting] numbers that we have for our county. It just shows that Dubois County is a great county and they care about our future.”
Verkamp is lone Democrat win in county
Nathan Verkamp was humbled to win a second term as Dubois Circuit judge.
“I’m just thankful that the people of Dubois County have the confidence in me to allow me to go forward for another term,” he said Tuesday night. “I was on the Democratic ticket, but people saw through that. My job is not about politics at all. It’s about what’s best for the people.”
Verkamp, 48, got together with his family and friends at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 673 in Jasper to listen to election results. He learned that he received 12,397 votes, 57.53%. His opponent, Republican Kevin Crouse, received 9,151 votes, 42.47%.
Verkamp has been judge of Circuit Court since January 2015. Prior to that, he was an attorney in Jasper.
A 1990 Jasper High School graduate, Verkamp served in the United States Navy for more than four years and completed a tour in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield. Upon discharge, he worked in a local custom cabinet factory and on a farm before going to college that fall. Verkamp received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his law degree from Indiana University, Indianapolis. He is also a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College, and serves on the Indiana Criminal Policy committee.
Verkamp was grateful that his wife, Jody, and children supported his endeavor. He also thanked his family and friends for their support.
“I’ve worked hard and tried to do my best for the people of the county. But at the end of the day, I’m only as good as the people around me,” he said.
He also gave accolades to the colleagues he works with daily.
“I hope this is an affirmation of all the hard work that’s been done by by all the people in the justice system,” Verkamp said, “my staff, CASA, probation, community corrections, security center, prosecutor’s office, defense attorneys.
“There’s been a lot of good work done in the last couple of years. And there’s a lot of good work that can be done yet. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
With work and heavy campaigning over the last few months, Verkamp decided to take today off. But he won’t be home relaxing.
“I’ll probably spend the day going around hunting up yard signs,” he said.
Lindauer earns another term
Shane Lindauer was re-elected District 63 Indiana state representative.
“I’m glad it’s over. It’s always a relief to have it behind you,” the 46-year-old Republican said. “And certainly having a victory always feels good.”
Lindauer earned 21,494 votes, 73.8%. Democratic challenger Teresa Kendall received 7,626 votes, 26.2%. District 63 includes Bainbridge, Boone, Columbia, Hall, Harbison, Madison and Marion townships in Dubois County and parts of Pike, Daviess and Martin counties.
In Dubois County, Lindauer received 9,116 votes, 68.59%. Kendall received 4,175 votes, 31.41%.
“I thought it was going to be closer than that,” Lindauer said. “So I’m pleasantly surprised.”
Lindauer was appointed to the state representative position in November 2017. He won his first two-year term in 2018. He has also served a term on the Dubois County Council from 2011 to 2014; he did not run for another term because he moved out of the district he was representing.
A 1992 Jasper High School graduate, Lindauer has a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology supervision from Indiana State University, doctorate and bachelor’s degree in health and human services, and a doctorate of chiropractic from Logan College of Chiropractic, located in Chesterfield, Missouri. He has served in the Indiana and Missouri Army National Guard and has held adjunct faculty teaching positions at Oakland City University-Bedford and at Ivy Tech in Evansville. He has owned his own chiropractic business and co-owned Jasper Salvage.
Lindauer and his wife, Stacy, live in Jasper with their two sons.
He and Stacy spent part of Tuesday evening at a Republican gathering in Pike County before joining the Dubois County Republicans at the Schnitz Pub.
Lindauer thanked voters for electing him to another term.
“I appreciate the support of the people who supported me and came out to vote,” he said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to be in this position. I will continue to try and serve everybody in the district, the people who voted for me and the people who didn’t vote for me.”
Bucshon again claims U.S. Representative District 8
Republican incumbent Larry Bucshon secured re-election as the U.S. Representative for District 8 in Tuesday’s election. He pulled in 14,977 votes.
Democrat E. Thomasina Marsili notched 5,408 votes and Libertarian James Rodenberger earned 727. Three votes were written in.
Southeast Dubois referendum passes
A big financial boost will soon come to the Southeast Dubois County School Corporation.
Tuesday, voters in Jackson, Jefferson and Ferdinand townships approved the passing of a property tax referendum that will generate $745,000 in funds annually for eight years.
A total of 2,812 (71.33%) voted in favor of the measure, and 1,130 (28.67%) voted against it.
The referendum question was as follows:
“For the eight (8) calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the Southeast Dubois County School Corporation impose a property tax rate that does not exceed nineteen cents ($0.19) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding academic and educationally-related programs, maintaining class sizes, recruitment/retention of teachers and support staff, and school safety/mental health resources.”
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