By Wade Coggeshall
DANVILLE — Republican incumbents in county government who faced competition within their parties will keep their seats. And the GOP picked a new representative to replace David Whicker on the Board of County Commissioners, who's retiring at the end of the year.
Robert Gentry won a tight race for county commissioner of district one. He garnered 6,133 votes. Gary Emsweller and Dan Devlin were virtually neck-in-neck with 4,691 and 4,652 respectively. All tallies are unofficial until certified by county election officials.
"It's a humbling experience," said Gentry, who was out collecting campaign signs when he learned he won. "I just want to do my best for everyone in the county, no matter who they supported."
Gentry is a lifelong farmer in Hendricks County who served 24 years on the Northwest Hendricks School Board.
"I'm just a farm guy," he said. "I don't make glamorous speeches. That was pretty evident if you followed me on the campaign trail."
David Galloway easily won re-election as sheriff against former sheriff Jim Quearry, 10,467 to 6,517. After serving two years with the Boone County Sheriff's Department, Galloway joined the Brownsburg Police Department and held every rank, retiring as chief of police in 2006.
"We ran a clean campaign," he said Tuesday evening at the Hendricks County Government Center while he awaited election results. "A lot of people worked their rear-ends off, and I worked pretty hard."
Galloway added that he's enjoyed his first term as sheriff.
"My only regret is the state of the economy," he said. "But I think things are going to go good. I'm looking forward to another four-year term and enjoy working with everyone in the county."
Patricia Baldwin also coasted to re-election as prosecutor, defeating challenger Brian Johnson 9,216 votes to his 6,622. Baldwin, who didn't return a call seeking comment Tuesday night, has served in the position since being elected in 1994.
Nancy Johnson beat two competitors in her quest to remain on the Hendricks County Council for district one. She garnered 1,793 votes to 1,362 for Richard Myers and 801 for Ryan Cameron. She'll face Democrat Charles Bender in November's general election.
Paul Hardin will remain the county recorder. He received 9,322 votes to challenger David Estes' 5,606.
Despite the stiff competition in some races, the primary was generally clear of controversy.
"The good thing is all three of us running together are friends," said Emsweller of Gentry and Devlin. In fact, he stood with one of his competitors at a precinct Tuesday, and reported good conversation and no worries.
"It was a good process," he said.