Political Newcomers Upset Two Vanderburgh Co. Incumbents

Bruce Ungethiem and John Montrastelle defeat incumbent County Commissioner Marsha Abell and incumbent County Councilman Pete Swaim in the 2014 Indiana Primary Election.
Two Vanderburgh County incumbents are eliminated ahead of the November general election by two political newcomers.

In a very tight race, incumbent Marsha Abell falls to Bruce Ungethiem for Vanderburgh County Commissioner District 2. Ungethiem, known for his leadership in a successful effort to vote down city-county consolidation, came on top by just more than 600 votes. He won nearly 55-percent of votes.

"I was very happy about the win. We had expected it," said Ungethiem after the final numbers were reported. "We had some info from grassroots people that we were ahead. It was very gratifying."

Eyewitness News tried talking to Marsha Abell following the race, but she declined to comment. So far, no democrat has filed for the November election.

Vanderburgh County also fielded an air-tight race for County Council District 4. John Montrastelle beat out incumbent Councilman Pete Swaim.

In the first numbers, Swaim was just 16 votes ahead of Montrastelle. When the second set of numbers were released, Montrastelle was 19 votes ahead. As more and more vote centers reported numbers, it was Montrastelle who pulled ahead, beating Swaim by about 10-percent.

"I'm excited ... It's really been fun and I look forward to going on into the fall election with support of the GOP," said Montrastelle. "I think we're going to do well."

Swaim attributed the loss to low turn out. "Disappointed that some of our traditional republicans didn't get out and vote and then you see what the results are so, just disappointed, that's all."

Montrastelle attributes this win, in part, to bipartisan support. Particularly to democrat voters who crossed over to pull a republican ticket. Around 78-percent of ballots cast where republican, compared to just 22-percent on the democratic side which had no contested races. Montrastelle says many self-professed democrats told him they pulled a republican ticket so they could vote for him.

So far there isn't a democrat filed for the position but the party still has time to get a candidate on the November ballot.
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