GREENFIELD — Challenger Sherry Durbin won the Republican nomination for Fortville clerk-treasurer Tuesday, ousting incumbent Marcie Noe Stafford, who has been a point of contention at town council meetings during the past year.
Durbin received 62 percent of the votes, garnering 392 votes to 238 for Stafford.
In the race for the District 2 seat on the Fortville Town Council, incumbent Timothy Hexamer retained his position, with 385 votes. Challenger Sean Simmons received 236.
Unless a Democrat or minor party candidate steps up for the general election, Durbin and Hexamer will serve the next four years in public office.
“I am super excited,” said Durbin, surrounded by a small crowd of friends as the results came in at the Hancock County Courthouse Annex on Tuesday.
Durbin, 43, is a full-time business assistant at a dental office and ran her campaign on a platform of trying to maintain peace, keep regular business hours and provide answers to council members and department heads.
Her platform was in direct response to the turmoil she said she observed in town politics.
Stafford, 54, has had a rocky first term as clerk-treasurer. Over the past year, the town council has addressed Stafford at public meetings, concerned about her bookkeeping and not being able to provide answers to their questions over the town’s budgets. Stafford says she’s just now able to get the office in order since the council approved part-time help for her last August.
While Durbin said she hopes to spend the next few months learning about the job as clerk-treasurer, Stafford said she would not help in the transition.
“Why would I make things any easier?” Stafford said. “Seriously. That’s insanity. No I will not. She can learn the hard way, and so can the people who voted for her.”
Stafford went on to say that she will continue to serve the rest of her term through the end of the year unless a different job opportunity comes along.
“It’s just frustrating to know that the good people don’t always win. But God must have another plan for me, and maybe it’s a better plan,” Stafford said.
Both candidates spent the day Tuesday greeting voters in the parking lot of the Fortville Community Center. While Stafford’s supporters said they appreciated her years of accounting experience, Durbin’s voters were looking forward to change.
“We need accountability to the taxpayers so everyone in town works together, and she fits that mold,” said Bill Knauer, Fortville police chief who was campaigning with Durbin on his own time Tuesday.
Durbin is married to Fortville Police Officer Doug Durbin and has three children, ages 10, 15 and 22.
Meanwhile, the race for the District 2 seat on the town council was a quiet one.
“I just want to thank all the voters who supported me, and I also want to thank Sean Simmons for having a fair election,” Hexamer said shortly after his primary victory.
Hexamer, 64, was appointed to the town council in January to complete the term of Nancy Sizemore, who resigned when she moved out of the district.
Hexamer is retired; he’s married to wife Denise and has three children and five grandchildren. Since he’s lived in Fortville only about a year, Hexamer said, he’s been striving to meet local residents.
Supporter Milda Sterrett said he’s a friendly face in the community.
“You mention his name now to most business owners and most people and they know who he is,” she said.
Simmons, 33, served on the council from 2006 to 2010 and said he will continue to stay involved in the community.
“I just wish Tim Hexamer the best of luck,” Simmons said Tuesday night. “I’m sure he’ll do a great job. He’s kind of new to Fortville, which could be a good thing for him. I’m just happy he can keep moving forward.”
Also up for election Tuesday were two other seats for the Fortville Town Council, but incumbent Republicans Janet Miles Manship and Ron Stafford ran unopposed.
Marcie Noe Stafford;238
Fortville Town Council, District 2