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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bookwalter wins Prosecutor seat

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The results of Tuesday night's race for Putnam County prosecutor did not go Democrat Jim Ensley's way.

Still the first-time seeker of public office says he has no regrets from the campaign trail and is happy to have run against Republican incumbent Tim Bookwalter.

"It was a great experience," Ensley said. "I congratulate Mr. Bookwalter."

When the final results were tallied Tuesday night, Ensley garnered a respectable 3,789 votes, but it was not enough to defeat Bookwalter who brought in 5,705.

"I had a good time running the campaign," Ensley said. "It was fun and I got to see a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time."

Bookwalter was clearly pleased by the fact that he led 27 of 29 voting precincts to beat Ensley hands down, but he had good things to say about his younger challenger.

"Jim's a nice young man," Bookwalter said.

Speaking to the outcome of the race, Bookwalter was quick to offer thanks to his staff at the prosecutor's office and to the members of local law enforcement for the goals he believes he was able to accomplish during his first term.

"To me the thanks goes to my staff and the law enforcement community," he said. "They're the two that have made me look good, so that's who I have to thank.

Bookwalter took the opporunity to point out what he believes has been a successful war against the county's methamphetamine problem.

"All the law enforcement community came together to work on the meth problem," he said. "We stamped out a lot of meth and I think we can almost eradicate it.

"The next thing I want to crack down on is really the domestic violence. And I have some new ideas with that."

While Bookwalter is focused on the future, Ensley is looking to the past and hoping to gain some valuable knowledge from his campaign experience.

"Because it's the first time I ran a campaign, I don't know exactly what I would want to go back and look at," Ensley said. "I would want to go back and see individual precinct results and see how it varied to see how well I did. I would also look at what I did in those places and focus on that."

With the election behind him now, Ensley says he plans to continue working as an associate of local attorney Del Brewer and focusing on improvement.

"I enjoy working with him," Ensley said of Brewer. "He's taught me a lot already. He's been an attorney here in town for a long time so that's another learning experienc for me."

Bookwalter said he will go into his next term as prosecutor with confidence that he has the support of Putnam County voters.

"I just think people, for the prosecutor, don't think of it as a republican or politcal office. I think they look at results," Bookwalter said. "For me it was, if the public said 'he's doing a good job,' I think they'd leave me in. If they thought I wasn't doing a good job, I think they'd vote me out."

When asked if he is considering a future run for office, Ensley said he is keeping his focus on the present.

"You never say never, but we'll just take this right now and we'll take it when the time comes," he said.

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