Brown County Democrat (BCD) – Articles
- BCD Facebook: Republicans sweep Brown County offices
- BCD Website: Republicans sweep Brown County offices
“Straight-ticket voting was more popular in this election than in the past 10 years. This year, 56.7 percent of voters automatically voted for everyone on the ballot for their chosen party, and the majority — 65.5 percent of them — were Republicans. However, straight-party voters had to manually choose winners of some races separately, such as nonpartisan offices.”
Turnout for this election was 56.7 percent — not a record, but on par with turnouts for elections since 2008. The record in that time period was 64 percent for the 2016 presidential election.
Our vote history – From Democrat sweeps to Republican
In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, results were almost the exact opposite of what we saw last week. … The post-election paper in 1992 read: “Democrats dominate county election.” The only local Republican to win an office at the county level was Juanita Bainter, a four-term council member. … The story was similar in 1988, 30 years ago. All Democrats won their local offices, even though the county voted strongly for Republicans George Bush as president and Richard Lugar for senator.
The local Republican wave began to roll in 1996, the year of the Bob Dole-Bill Clinton presidential election. The top headline read “Voters sweep Republicans into offices’; the GOP won four of six contested races locally.
In 2000, it was more of the same. The top headline read “BLOWOUT: GOP loses only one contest.” That one holdout was Brown Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart, a Democrat incumbent seeking her second term.
For the most part since then, Brown County has continued to trend red, following the majority of the state.
The 2008 election — with the Barack Obama/John McCain presidential race on the ballot — was the most balanced the results have been since then. Votes were nearly evenly split up and down the ballot, with seven Republicans and eight Democrats winning this county among national, state and local offices. Obama, of course, won the presidency that year; McCain won Brown County, but only by 208 votes.
Democrat Party Chair: “… And there, I think, is the problem: People that are not learning who the people are that are running for office.”
History Straight-Party Voting
Over the past 10 years, straight-ticket voting — automatically voting for all members of a particular party — has been on a fairly steady upward march.
In 2008, 18 percent of Brown County voters voted straight-ticket; 55 percent of them were Republican, 43 percent Democrat and 2 percent Libertarian.
This year, 56.7 percent of voters chose to vote strictly along party lines. Republican ballots were 65.6 percent of that total, 33.3 percent were Democrat and 1.1 percent were Libertarian.
Even as a party chairman, Bowman said he doesn’t like to see so many voters choosing the straight-party option. To him, that shows voters lack knowledge about the candidates. The choice listed from one’s own party isn’t always automatically the best choice for the job, he said.
Republican Party Chair: “We need to protect the community with the best people, not just because you have a favoritism towards a certain party,” he said. “I view local elections totally separate. Obviously, you want your voters to vote for the best person even statewide and nationally too, but locally, it really affects us all.”
Democrat Party Chair: “Bond said that if straight-ticket would have gone the way of the Democrats, he would have been fine with it, “because I would have put up the best candidates. I believe I had the best candidates.”
- No change in prosecutor’s office, By Suzannah Couch – (Total votes 7,097)
Incumbent commissioner to serve another term, Suzannah Couch – Nov. 6, 2018 Republican Diana Biddle will serve another four years as county commissioner after defeating Democratic challenger Kyle Birkemeier. Biddle received 3,975 votes to Birkemeier’s 3,102. (Total votes 7,077)