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Independent Ethan Hollander prevailed over Republican Scott Molin for the Ward 2 Crawfordsville City Council seat, delivering the biggest upset in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Hollander, a Wabash College political science professor and chair of the city’s Human Rights Commission, won the race by 21 votes. Hollander received 122 votes, or 54.71%, to Molin’s 101 votes or 45.29%, according to unofficial results.
“I want to thank Scott for running a good race,” Hollander said. “He had a lot of votes, too, so clearly he connected with a lot of voters also.”
Declaring Crawfordsville is “open for business” and that the city “already has a lot to offer” to residents, Hollander said providing affordable housing to young professionals should be a top priority. The ward encompasses Crawfordsville’s southwest side.
It was Hollander’s second bid for the seat after being defeated in 2015. Attempts to reach Molin for comment were unsuccessful.
The other incumbents fended off challenges for their seats.
At-large members Andy Biddle, a Republican, and Mike Reidy, a Democrat, surged ahead in a three-way contest with Libertarian Adam Hutchison.
Biddle received 728 votes, or 46.25%, with Reidy capturing 631 or 40.09%. Hutchison came in with 215 or 13.66%.
“I appreciate people having the confidence in me again,” said Biddle, who will begin his third term. He credited Mayor Todd Barton, who ran unopposed, for progress in the city.
Reidy couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Ward 5 Republican Stan Hamilton defeated Democrat Joyce Burnette to keep his seat on the south central side. Hamilton received 137 votes, or 57.08%, to Burnette’s 103 or 42.92%.
“I want to thank all the people in Ward 5 who voted for me and thank Joyce for a good campaign,” said Hamilton, who was the party’s choice to finish Molin’s original term in 2017.
The northeast side will have new representation on the council. In Ward 3, Republican Kent Priebe was unopposed for the seat currently held by Pete Utterback. Republicans selected Utterback to fill the seat Dan Guard vacated this spring to become a county commissioner. Republicans Jeff Lucas, Ward 1, and Jennifer Lowe, Ward 4, faced no opposition for their seats.
It will be Lucas’s first term in his own right after filling a vacancy in 2017. Lowe heads into her third term.
Voter turnout was down compared to four years ago. A total of 1,433 ballots were cast out of 10,172 registered voters, a turnout of 14.09%. That’s a decrease from 22.9% in 2015.