Wayne County voters returned many familiar faces to government offices, but a few new faces will be in leadership positions for Richmond and Northeastern schools.
And, by a 37-vote margin, Richmond Power & Light will opt out of what the utility’s officials called expensive state rate studies.

School boards

Richmond pharmacist Peter Zaleski and former Richmond Community Schools administrator Stacy Mopps have been elected to at-large seats on the RCS board. Of the 10 candidates, Zaleski led with 3,250 votes, or 23.15 percent. Mopps had 18.62 percent of the vote.

The other RCS candidates in order were Beth Lipps, Bruce Laudermilk, Sam Thomas, Sayward Carolin-Salazar, Windel Stracener, incumbent Jeff Slifer, Matthew Yellen and Ronnie Swango, who announced before the election that he was withdrawing from the race but couldn’t be removed from the ballot. Kristen Brunton was unopposed for District 3.

For Northeastern Wayne, recently appointed member Kimberly Claypoole was elected to an at-large seat with 30.5 percent of the vote (395) in the 5-way race, so another board vacancy will need to be filled soon. Cindy Robertson finished second with 291 votes (22.47 percent), followed by Jim Summers with 271 (20.93 percent), Mark Broeker with 210 (16.22 percent) and Dan VanDuyne with 128 votes (9.88 percent).

Centerville-Abington Community Schools incumbent Brad Lambright won with 58.27 percent, or 1,170 votes, over challenger Tiffany Torbeck. Torbeck received 838 votes.

Western Wayne incumbent Phillip Pflum defeated challenger Amber Rushton with 789 votes (56 percent). Rushton had 619 votes. William Brent Fortman was unopposed for District C.


Richmond voters had a public question on their ballot related to Richmond Power & Light, and 6,233 voters weighed in.

The question: “Shall the municipally owned utility be taken out of the jurisdiction of the utility regulatory commission for approval of rates and charges and of the issuance of stocks, bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness?”

RP&L encouraged voters to mark “yes.”

The measure received 3,135 yes votes, with 50.3 percent support.

State races

Republican State Sen. Jeff Raatz (District 27) and State Rep. Brad Barrett (District 56) will return to the Indiana General Assembly. Raatz earned nearly 65 percent of Wayne County votes, and Barrett won the county by nearly 70 percent.

Both of their districts includes multiple counties, so that is not the final total for their constituent bases.

They defeated Democratic challengers Ron Itnyre and C. Yvonne Washington.

Township races

Incumbent Wayne Township Trustee Susan Isaacs will return to her office for another term to help those needing emergency financial assistance. She defeated challenger Cassandra Brown.

Four candidates ran for three seats on Jefferson Township board, and all three seats were won by Republicans Gary Keesling, Anne Smith and Max Soliday. Chad Neal, a Democrat, came in fourth with 14.52 percent

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.