Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

May 5, 2010

Town councils see movement in primary

By Charlee Beasor
Hendricks County Flyer

DANVILLE — In the five contested town council races throughout the county, only two incumbent members were ousted by voters in Tuesday's primary election.

In Avon, Dave Jackson won out over Jim Tygrett and incumbent Greg Zusan for ward one. Jackson said the victory, at an unofficial 47 percent of the vote, was "bittersweet."

"I was running with a team, and we got one out of three, and they were such close races," he said. "My victory looks pretty sound. My other teammates (Dave Cox and Lucinda Kozinski) have some very, very narrow margins right now. It still hasn't all sunk in yet. Bittersweet is the best way to describe it."

Jackson said he would continue with the values that got him through the primary and use them if he is contested by another party in the November elections.

"We were certainly running under Republican and conservative values and that's important," he said. "The local party understands that. There are so many things going on. We would just have to focus on its roots and stay true to that if we're going to be successful. We just need to work together to make that happen. We have a number of important races well beyond the town council. I'll do my role to support the ticket at all levels of government in November."

This is Jackson's third election for town council. He and Zusan have been "battling" back and forth for the past three elections.

"I ran eight years ago and served for four years, and ran for re-election and lost to Greg Zusan," Jackson said. "I came back and challenged him again and this time was victorious over him. It's been a flip flop."

The other two Avon Town Council races, for districts two and three, were even closer than Jackson's race.

Mike Rogers defeated Linda Kozinski by just 15 votes to keep his seat in ward two. He was unable to be reached for comment following the election.

Incumbent Beverly Austin won her race for ward three by an even narrower two votes over Dave Cox and Marcus A. Turner.

Though Austin came out the victor (though election results have not been officially verified by the Hendricks County Clerk's office), there were moments when she was not ahead.

"I'm glad it's a plus for me," she said. "I would prefer it be by more than two. I'm still soaking it in. I've not known for that long. I think I was trying to remain hopeful and try to figure out what precincts were still missing from that count."

In Brownsburg, incumbent Gary Hood defeated his opponent, Charles E. Ratliff, with just over 53 percent of the vote to retain his seat in ward one. Hood was unable to be reached for comment following the election.

Also in Brownsburg, Dave Richardson came out over incumbent Bill Sibbing with 68 percent of the vote for the seat in ward five.

Richardson, who has worked in the federal government before as a senior construction analyst for HUD, has not served in a local position previously.

"I'm overwhelmed, but deeply honored," he said. "I had no expectations and this is very surprising. I hope they wanted a fresh voice, fresh ideas. I think I bring to the table some unique skills and experiences with my many, many years of federal government experience."

Richardson said he spent the evening at home, being able to enjoy his "moment."

"At this point, my first reaction is to thank the citizens of Brownsburg and to tell them that I will be the 'guardian of the public trust' that I promised to be," he said. "That was my call sign. That's what a public servant is supposed to be and that's what I'll promise to be."

All election results reported here are unofficial until certified by Hendricks County election officials.

charlee.beasor@flyergroup.com