With incumbent Republicans in three countywide offices — auditor, treasurer and recorder — sent to the sidelines at the end of the current year by state-mandated term limits, a trio of first-time GOP candidates picked up victories and earned their party's nominations during Tuesday's primary election balloting.
With County Recorder Connie Moser, a Republican, barred from seeking re-election, Deb Stimpson prevailed in a three-way GOP race to fill that pending vacancy. Stimpson, who is employed by the Decatur-Adams County Parks and Rec Department, captured 1,575 votes to edge out current Deputy Recorder Jim Voglewede, who claimed 1,406 votes. Berne Republican Jerry Walker finished third with 1,055.
"I'm still in shock; I'm speechless," Stimpson said after the votes were counted. As the final tally was being announced she was seen wiping tears of joy from her eyes.
"It's been fun; a great experience, and I'm looking forward to the fall campaign," Stimpson said.
Democrat Marcy Koons was unopposed in her bid for the recorder's office and collected 874 votes.
Republican Adams County Treasurer Rex Moore is another term limits victim at the end of 2012, and GOP voters selected Thomas Krueckeberg to carry the party's banner into the fall election and possibly beyond. Krueckeberg, who previously was elected as a Democrat to a seat on the Adams County Council, garnered 2,299 votes to turn back a challenge from political newcomer Ed Dyer who polled 1,669 votes.
"I'm obviously very pleased," Krueckeberg said. "I thought it would be close, and it was. Ed ran a good campaign. He did a good job. I'm pleased with the results, but the work is not done."
No Democrat filed as a candidate for the treasurer's spot.
County Auditor Bill Borne, also a Republican, is another term limit casualty. He had endorsed Mary Beery to be his successor, and Republican voters in the county agreed with that selection. Beery out-polled Decatur Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and Adams Central school board member Wes Kuntzman by a 2,368-1,565 margin to win Tuesday's balloting.
"I want to scream, but that would be tacky," said a delighted Beery after the final results were posted.
Beery has served for more than 20 years in the auditor's office and current is the Chief Deputy Director there. "This campaign was a lot more work than I ever could have dreamed, but I am looking forward to being the next auditor and serving the taxpayers of Adams County," she said.
There was no Democrat candidate on Tuesday's ballot.
Democrats will have at least a couple of months to fill ballot vacancies for the fall election.