Primary winner Tina Brison, left, bumps elbows with Jennings County Republic Party Chairman Jeanie Hahn after hearing the news that she beat incumbent Republican Kitty Shepherd in Tuesday’s election. – Staff photo by Kylan Higgs
Political newcomer Tina Belding Brison snatched the most votes for Jennings County treasurer, unseating incumbent Kitty Shepherd on the Republican ticket during the 2020 Primary Election held Tuesday.
The first-time candidate ran against Shepherd, the well-known incumbent, all while working to keep her campaign from being eclipsed by the state's stay-at-home orders that began in March to combat a global pandemic.
The primary had been delayed from the traditional first Tuesday in May to June 2, as state officials worked to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the sometimes deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
"It was hard at first," explained Brison, "because you couldn't go out and talk to people."
In fact, Jennings County Clerk Amy Thompson was surprised to see voter turnout as high as 22 percent, in spite of the virus, a limited number of candidates on the ballot, and the fact that primary elections generally do not draw a lot of voters to the polls.
Additionally, the county Board of Elections this year reduced the number of polling locations from 25 to nine, dividing them among Jennings County's schools. In previous years, polling locations were scattered throughout the county.
At the end of the day, Thompson said she had been overwhelmed by the number of positive responses from the community regarding the use of the schools, which gave voters lots of room to vote and still maintain the social distancing required to avoid contracting the virus. She said hard work in weeks leading up to the election by her staff was key in making this year's election so successful.
Additionally, Thompson said she was pleased with the workers, who manned polling locations and signed in voters, as well as the seasoned inspectors who had to travel throughout the 12-hour day to different precincts to ensure reporting was accurate.
Despite storm clouds that threatened on Friday May 29, the JCHS Class of 2020 was not about to let anything rain on their graduation parade.
Imagine a letter written over half a century ago showing up in your mailbox today.
With more contested local races in this year's Primary Election, Jennings County's Republican voters came out in force Tuesday to cast their ballots, according to the unofficial county from County Clerk Amy Thompson's office.
After last week's rainout, golfers endured another rain delay before play in the Tuesday Men's Golf League. A squall as violent as Tony McDaniels' backswing left St. Annes Golf Course wet and muddy, resulting in at least one stuck golf cart driven by Steve "What Does CPO Mean?" Ogden.
Shoppers can rid themselves of the COVID-19 blues with fresh strawberries and vegetables at this year's Farmers Market at North Vernon City Park. Above, market manager Clarence Wullenweber prepares to sell some of his early spring veggies and starter plants to a happy customer at Thursday's market.
- Staff photo by Phyllis McLaughlin
Are you following COVID guidelines?
37% Yes. I stay home as much as I can; when out, i wear a mask and avoid crowds.
30% I keep 6-feet apart from others, but don’t always wear a mask.
33% I do neither. I believe it is time to get back out there, regardless of state orders.