GREENFIELD — The race for the Republican primary nomination for mayor ended just as it started: a hug and a handshake between two candidates who have been nothing but friendly to one another.
On Tuesday, incumbent Mayor Chuck Fewell, who received nearly 67 percent of the vote and will represent the Republican Party in the general election in November, walked over to challenger Judy Swift and embraced her.
It was the capstone of an uncontentious campaign season between two candidates who share many of the same goals for the city.
Fewell captured 1,183 votes to Swift’s 599.
Fewell was feeling confident Tuesday night but was quick to mention he still needs to win the general election in order to serve a second term. He is so far uncontested, though the Democratic and Libertarian parties have until July 6 to slate a challenger.
“It’s really humbling,” Fewell said as results from the last vote center were posted at the Hancock County Courthouse Annex. “We ran a classy campaign, we ran a good campaign. We got our message out.”
Swift was disappointed by the election’s outcome but vowed to stay involved in the community.
“I gave it a good run,” she said. “I will be totally involved; none of that will change. I’ve been involved too many years to quit now.”
A welcome opportunity
In recent days, both candidates spent hours meeting with residents, putting up last-minute yard signs and spreading their messages.
On Tuesday, they each spent the day visiting the vote centers in Greenfield to meet and thank voters.
Fewell said he and his team ran his campaign with dignity and integrity, and he’s proud of the work they did in the past few months. He’s grateful for the support he received from family, friends and residents.
“I’m really pleased with the citizens of Greenfield,” he said. “They gave me the strength to keep going.”
Despite Tuesday’s outcome, Swift said, she’d change nothing about her campaign.
She was proud of her efforts and thankful for her family and friends who helped her campaign.
“My family and my team were absolutely amazing,” she said. “I absolutely, totally enjoyed the whole process. I would have been an amazing mayor.”
But she has no plans to run for office again, she said.
Show of support
Supporters for both Swift and Fewell were at all three Greenfield voting centers Tuesday, thanking voters and handing out campaign materials.
Swift and Fewell hopped among the voting centers, greeting residents as they arrived to cast ballots.
Greenfield resident Abbey Bolden made her way to the polls Tuesday to cast a ballot for Swift.
“She’s a friend, and I love her vision for the city,” she said.
New Palestine High School student Sydney Armstrong did her best to attract attention to Fewell’s campaign, donning a bear mascot costume with a T-shirt supporting Fewell.
She spent the afternoon dancing and skateboarding along State Street in an attempt to capture votes for her close family friend.
“I think he’s awesome and an all-around good guy,” she said.
McCordsville resident Marciann Miller, daughter of former Greenfield Mayor Keith McClarnon, was out Tuesday campaigning for Fewell as well. Though she doesn’t live in city limits, she encouraged those who did to cast a vote in her candidate’s favor.
“I believe in him so much that even though I can’t vote for him, I’m still out here supporting him,” she said. “My dad was mayor for years; and if he were here today, he would be so proud of Chuck,” Miller said.
As far as campaign finances go, Fewell raised more than six times as much as Swift and received contributions from Luke Messer for Congress and the Committee to Elect Bob Cherry, who represents Hancock County in the Indiana House of Representatives.
Swift said she was focused on running her campaign on less than $10,000. She raised about $7,400 and had spent nearly $5,150 as of April 17, when campaign finance reports were due.
Fewell raised more than $55,000 and had spent about $5,800 as of April 16.
Low voter turnout
Voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election was 10 percent, which was down from 2011, when 16 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
That’s despite an increase in early voting this year, when nearly 1,000 residents cast ballots early, compared with about 500 in 2011.
Daily Reporter staff writer Amanda Matlock contributed to this report.
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