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Mirroring the national trend, the Republican Party in Adams County swept all countywide contested races in the Nov. 2 general election. The GOP landslide was ranked as the No. 7 story of the year in voting by employees of the Decatur Daily Democrat.
Republican candidates posted upset victories over three sitting Democrats, held onto two other contested seats, and filled a pending vacancy in the county sheriff’s office.
“It was a good night,” said county GOP Chairman Rob Noetzel after the general election votes were counted. “I’m honored by the support we got from the community. It’s humbling. And every one of these (winning candidates) feels the same; they’re humbled.”
GOP newcomers Stan Stoppenhagen and DuWayne Herman posted relatively easy victories in their races for the First and Second District seats on the Adams County Council, respectively.
In the race for county assessor, Republican newcomer Donald Kuhn unseated three-term incumbent Democrat Judy Affolder in one of the closest races of the general election balloting. Kuhn grabbed 51 percent of the vote to out-poll Affolder 4,832 to 4,611.
Sitting GOP candidates also prevailed as veteran county commissioner Ed Coil garnered nearly 70 percent of the vote in the District Two race, and incumbent county surveyor Paul Norr was re-elected by a similar margin.
And in what started as an extremely crowded race leading up to the May primary election, Republican Shane Rekeweg breezed to an easy victory and will be the next sheriff of Adams County.
The 39-year-old Rekeweg polled 4,805 votes during the Nov. 2 balloting, while Democrat Jon Fuhrman garnered 2,876 votes and independent Terry Nevil attracted 1,881 ballots.
“The voters of Adams County have bestowed upon me a lot of trust, and I will do everything I can to follow through with what I told them I would do during the campaign,” said Rekeweg. “I will stick to my four main issues — the public, the budget, the staff and the jail. And I will make sure the public is more informed and that the department is open to input from all county residents.”
Rekeweg had survived a four-way GOP primary in May, and Fuhrman won a two-man primary race among Democrats.
Incumbent Sheriff Chuck Padgett is wrapping up his second four-year term in office at the end of the year and was prevented from running again because of term limits.