Two men will square off to take an open seat on the Jackson County Council this fall.
Democrat Barry Stuckwisch of Seymour and Republican Mark Hackman of Seymour collected the most votes from District 2 voters in their respective parties in Tuesday’s primary election.
Stuckwisch received 210 votes, while Hackman earned 1,285 votes. They move on to the Nov. 6 general election.
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The other candidates on the ballot were Democrat Lenvel “Butch” Robinson of Crothersville with 167 votes and Republican Mark Pardieck of Seymour with 446 votes.
Stuckwisch or Hackman will fill a vacancy left by Republican Leon Pottschmidt of Seymour, who is in the final year of his second four-year term serving the district that includes all or portions of Driftwood, Grassy Fork, Jackson (3 South and 4 South), Vernon and Washington townships. He chose not to seek re-election to a third term.
The county council has the ultimate decision-making power regarding fiscal affairs. It has the authority to view or review fiscal matters, determine proper policy and set priorities for the allocation and expenditure of county funds.
For Stuckwisch and Hackman, it was their first time running for public office.
Stuckwisch is a Seymour Community Schools bus driver and works for Premier Ag.
“First of all, it was all a learning process for me,” Stuckwisch said. “Putting out the signs and knowing where to put the signs out, you just can’t put them out everywhere, and trying to meet and greet people. It was really kind of a nervous thing for me because it was my first time, and even coming to the courthouse (to hear election results), I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first time doing it, too.”
Hackman has worked at Hackman Brothers Feed Service near Tampico for 22 years and now is the owner. He said he has been a farmer and in the feed business for most of his life.
“It’s kind of humbling, actually,” he said of receiving the most votes from Republican voters. “I’ve learned a lot of stuff. It has been fun. I’ve enjoyed it.”
While Stuckwisch said it was exciting to win, he’s going to campaign even more for the general election.
“I’m going to have to just study it a little bit and find out through other people that have run to know what I need to do,” he said.
Hackman said he is going to step up his campaigning, too.
“I’m looking forward to the next one, ready to get in there,” he said. “I know a lot of those guys (on the council) now, so I’m looking forward to it if I make it that far.”
Robinson has served on the Crothersville Town Council since 2012, including two years as president. He is a retired union carpenter with 25 years of experience as a job superintendent.
He said he was hoping for a better turnout of Democrat voters. He said that was affected by the four-way race for the Republican candidate for county sheriff.
As far as running for a county-level position in the future, Robinson said, “If somebody is interested in me doing it, I’ll look at it.”
Pardieck is a mechanical contractor and has owned Pardieck’s Inc. for 28 years.
He said he enjoyed his first time running for public office and hasn’t yet thought about doing it again down the road.
“I’m very thankful for all of the votes I received,” he said. “I think there are a lot of good candidates, and it ended up where it is.”
In the general election, there will be three other races for county council seats. They ran unopposed in the primary election.
Vote totals were Democrat Catherine “Cathy” Stuckwisch with 345 and Republican incumbent Michael Davidson with 1,446 for District 1; Democrat Mary Voss Burgmeier with 276 and Republican incumbent Brian Thompson with 1,207 for District 3; and Democrat Mandy Ward with 244 and Republican Kari Luedeman Storey with 1,267 for District 4.
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Jackson County Council
Catherine “Cathy” Stuckwisch (D) 345
Michael Davidson (R) 1,446
Barry Stuckwisch (D) 210
Level “Butch” Robinson (D) 167
Mark Hackman (R) 1,285
Mark Pardieck (R) 446
Mary Voss Burgmeier (D) 276
Brian Thompson (R) 1,207
Mandy Ward (D) 244
Kari Luedeman Storey (R) 1,267