Two long-serving Democrat city council members lost their bids for re-election on Tuesday in what turned out to be a Republican tidal wave
Current city council president Duane Chattin, who was seeking an eighth term, and Shirley Rose, who was seeking a sixth, lost their at-large seats to Republicans Tim Salters and Marc McNeece.
Salters spent the past eight years representing District 5 before opting to compete for an at-large position. It was a decision he said he really had to weigh carefully; noting that once the decision was made, “it was a lot of hard work. I worked really hard for the past year to get to this point, and it feels really good right now.”
Salters received the most votes of the four candidates with 1,250 (27.73%), with McNeece tallying 1,235 (27.4%).
Chattin counted 1,115 votes on his side (24.7%) while Rose finished fourth in the tally with 907 votes (20.1%).
Salters and McNeece spent the evening celebrating with fellow Republicans at Blossom Hill Rental Hall, 2697 E. Ind. 61, after official election results were announced. The mood was highly festive, as it was a near sweep by the Republican party, with only one Democrat, Dan Ravellette, coming out ahead.
Both McNeece and Salters say they’re excited to get to work.
McNeece credits running "a unique campaign that relied heavily on social media, and taking our personalities to the people” as primary reasons he came out victorious.
The first-time councilmen-elect says he’s most excited about trying to make Vincennes “a community that my daughter not only wants to live in now, but one she wants to come back to in the future.”
McNeece is also looking forward to “ushering in a new way of governance that is more open and transparent by insuring our meetings are open and having them broadcast live online and later uploaded to a YouTube channel.”
Salters echoed that platform, calling for more transparency and a city council that is welcoming to the public.
When asked to what he credits his victory, Salters said, “Being able to communicate with people is one of my strengths. I really try to listen to the needs of the community and address those needs.
He continued, saying, “I couldn’t have been more proud of my campaign. I tried to stay focused on ideas and relationships, because that’s what it’s all about. Building community.
“Winning this election is humbling and awesome.”
Efforts to reach Chattin and Rose for comments were unsuccessful.