For the fourth election in a row Crawfordsville voters have elected a new mayor.
Republican Todd Barton narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Mayor Charlie Coons by 91 votes (1,605-1,514) to give the mayor’s office back to the Republicans after an eight-year absence.
Barton, a 25-year city employee, was extremely humbled by Tuesday’s results.
“I am very excited, I am humbled and I am very grateful for the voters of Crawfordsville,” Barton said during a post-election celebration at the Iron Gate restaurant in downtown Crawfordsville. “I just think this shows that the City of Crawfordsville is ready to move forward.”
Barton also said this was not his victory to savior alone.
“This is not about Todd Barton, tonight is about the City of Crawfordsville,” he said.
A few blocks away at the McCormick-Metsker Building, Coons and his friends, family and campaign workers were disappointed.
“We just couldn’t overcome those two precincts,” Coons said. “We won a lot of precincts but we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Coons was referring to Ward 1, Precinct 1, where he lost 235-161 and Ward 2, Precinct 1, where he lost 214-167. In those two precincts the margin of difference was 121 votes. Overall, Coons won six of the 10 precincts.
“I wouldn’t do anything different, and I am proud of what my administration has done,” Coons said. “I am still mayor until Dec. 31 and I want the people of Crawfordsville to know that I will continue to work as hard from now until then as I have the past four years. It starts tomorrow morning when I head over to Carmel for an economic development meeting.”
Barton said there is a lot of work to do and he is ready to get started.
“I am ready to take a few days off, but there are a couple of meetings I might try to attend tomorrow (Wednesday),” he said. “I will be getting with Charlie and discussing how we can make the transition as smoothly as possible. I want to make this a smooth of a transition as possible. After we get those things in place I will think about taking a couple of days to unwind.”
Coons becomes the third one-term mayor following Republican Stephen Gentry and Democrat John Zumer. Prior to that there were two three-term mayors — Democrat Glenn Knecht and Republican Phil Michal.
Getting the mayor’s office back to the Republican Party was something party chairman Scott Molin was excited about. He also was happy to win the Crawfordsville City Council Ward 5 seat.
“Not only is it great for the Republican party, but it’s great for all of Crawfordsville,” he said. “Todd is honest, he is hard working, he is intelligent and he has a plan to lead this city to great things.”