Contested Races Settled Amid High Turnout in Pulaski County


The Pulaski County Courthouse played host to a small but interested group of prospective candidates and concerned citizens Tuesday night as ballots trickled in from across the county.

This marked the second round of the vote center model in Pulaski County. The initial test ran during May’s primary election with a couple of months to smooth out any problems for November 8th’s General Election. Five vote centers are used on Election Day with two early voting sites in use.

Pulaski County Election Board Member Jon Frain says they will continue “smoothing” the process heading into future election years. Those changes will likely be considered over the coming months.

Any shortcomings in the model didn’t exactly dissuade voters in Pulaski County on Election Day. Unofficially, Pulaski County reported 58.27% turnout – that’s considered relatively high.

To go along with the voter turnout, the county sported several contested races. Among the most hotly debated was the District 1 County Commissioner’s race. Republican Jerry Locke bested Democratic candidate Derrick Stalbaum with 3,079 to 2,149 votes. That amounts to a 58% to 41% distribution.

The At-Large seats on the Pulaski County Council saw Republicans Scott Hinkle, Jay Sullivan, and Ken Boswell eke out seats ahead of incumbent Doug Roth. Voters were encouraged to pick three candidates. 

The Pulaski County recorder’s race saw two familiar faces in competition. Nonetheless, Republican incumbent Sue Fox defeated outgoing Auditor Shelia Garling, who was seeking the recorder’s office, 3,432 to 1,804 on Tuesday night.

A couple of school boards also had seats up-for-grabs on Tuesday. Eastern Pulaski had three seats available with Beth Ruff, Larry Beach, and Deke Demarco filling the vacancies. The school board seats are considered non-partisan.

The West Central School Corporation saw Dennis Gutwein overtake Janell Odom 975 votes to 586 votes.

Uncontested races and figures specific to Pulaski County can be found here.

The Pulaski County Election Board was able to certify the results of the November 8th General Election on Tuesday night after counting early and absentee votes, ballots cast at all five vote centers, and after reviewing the provisional ballots. Three provisional ballots were not counted after the Election Board determined the individuals were not actually residents of Pulaski County.

Those elected will be sworn-into office in January.