GREENFIELD — It wasn’t quite the celebration Brad Armstrong had in mind.
Armstrong, one of two candidates to secure the Republican party’s nod for the Hancock County Board of Commissioners, had planned to cap off election night with a gathering of friends and family.
Instead, the good news came Wednesday afternoon after software glitches delayed results on election night. For Armstrong, word came with little fanfare — just a quick phone call from his wife, Tara, while he was at work.
But it didn’t matter.
“Winning’s good, no matter when the results come,” said Armstrong, who took the District 3 race, defeating Matt Holland of New Palestine.
John Jessup of Shirley took the second seat, edging out his two opponents, Randy Sorrell and Randy Harrison in the District 1 competition.
Jessup in part credits the victory to his campaign strategy; he opted to spend countless hours knocking on residents’ doors, saying hello in person, instead of sending thousands of promotional flyers by mail, he said.
Both Armstrong and Jessup spent election day reaching out to voters at polling sites across the county to convince them of their qualifications to serve on the board of commissioners, the county’s executive branch of government that manages county personnel and decides which projects to prioritize and how to pay for them.
After a series of exhausting weeks spent campaigning, both candidates agreed they were happy to put the race behind them — especially after the issues that came late Tuesday.
“It was a long night,” said a bleary-eyed Jessup on Wednesday afternoon, adding that he was saving his celebration for Friday.
The candidates will move on to the general election, Nov. 8. The Democratic and Libertarian parties have until June 30 to select candidates to run against the Republicans in the fall.
If he wins in the fall election, Jessup, who is currently serving on the Hancock County Council, will resign from his seat Dec. 31 with two years left on his term. The Hancock County Republican Party will hold a caucus to select a replacement for Jessup.
Armstrong, a local business owner, was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2008 and has served as the board’s president for the past three years. He ran his campaign on a promise to continue fostering an environment that attracts economic growth and developing a robust plan for road improvements.
Jessup, who has served on the Hancock County Council since 2011, assured voters he would keep the commissioners’ decision-making process transparent. He also promised to find a solution for the fairgrounds plan and to advocate for all residents, no matter what township they reside in.
Tom Stevens, who is completing his second term on the board, currently serves as the District 1 commissioner. He did not seek re-election and will carry out the remainder of his term until the end of 2016.
Hancock County Board of Commissioners