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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

Dunbar captures clerk-treasurer post; Bingham retains Council seat

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(Photo)
Jinsie Bingham (left) and Lynda Dunbar celebrate victories at the polls Tuesday night. [Order this photo]
Lynda Dunbar is going from Treasures on the Square to treasurer at City Hall after a 183-vote victory Tuesday in the Greencastle municipal election.

Meanwhile, Jinsie Bingham earned a second term representing the Third Ward on the Greencastle City Council with an 18-vote victory over challenger Jade Griffin.

The remaining members of the Greencastle City Council and Mayor Sue Murray were all unopposed for re-election and were not even listed on Tuesday's ballot.

Dunbar, who owns and operates the popular Treasures on the Square eatery downtown, defeated Democrat Teresa Glenn, who was seeking a third term as city clerk-treasurer.

The Republican Dunbar polled 632 votes in winning or tying seven of the eight city precincts. Glenn, who received 449 votes, captured only Third West (by a one-vote margin) in her re-election bid.

"I'm real excited to get in and get started and work for the residents of Greencastle," Dunbar said as the city vote totals were posted at the courthouse.

She was asked if her election helps give a voice to the downtown at City Hall.

"Absolutely," Dunbar said. "And I really want to stress the importance of buying local."

Although Dunbar's election means the mayor and clerk-treasurer will be of opposite parties for the first time in eight years starting Jan. 1, she does not see that as an issue.

"I am very excited to start working with Mayor Sue Murray," Dunbar said. "Debits and credits don't know party lines."

Bingham, meanwhile, handily captured her home precinct, Third West, by a 94-68 margin. Griffin posted a 65-57 edge in Third East, but that wasn't enough to keep Bingham from a 151-133 victory.

"I think we can call her 'Landslide Jinsie' now," Democrat Chairman Dave Bohmer joked.

That was a reference to Bingham's 2007 election in which she tied Eric Birt at 191 votes apiece and the City Council broke the deadlock by selecting Bingham.

"I'm very pleased," Bingham said of the 18-vote margin of victory in a race that saw 100 fewer ballots cast than four years ago.

"I also was to thank my opponent (Jade Griffin) for running a good campaign," Bingham said, adding that it gave her "a chance to meet some of the wonderful people of Greencastle."

Just 22 percent of Third East voters went to the polls, while only 18.99 percent of Third West cast ballots on Tuesday.

Overall, 1,082 of Greencastle's 6,227 registered voters cast ballots in the election for a meager voter turnout of 17.8 percent.

Not a single city precinct topped 30 percent with Second West doing the best as 26.72 percent showed up at the polls even though they had only the city clerk-treasurer race to vote for.

Smallest turnout was in First South, where only 8.36 percent of the registered voters cast ballots. Just 60 of 718 voters went to the polls there on an overcast Election Day 2011.

Democrat Chairman Bohmer said a low city turnout was fully expected despite what he called "good efforts in campaigning all around."

"The voters made the decisions they thought were best for the city of Greencastle," he said. "The important thing is that everyone involved works together like they have so well the last four years. If that happens, we'll all be in good shape."

Bingham's victory means that the Democrats retain a 3-2 edge on the Greencastle City Council.

Bingham joins fellow Democrats Adam Cohen, First Ward, and at-large Councilor Phyllis Rokicki on the 2012-15 City Council, along with Republicans Mark Hammer, Second Ward, and Terry (T.J.) Smith, Fourth Ward.

Cohen, Rokicki, Hammer, Smith and Mayor Murray were all unopposed in their bids for election, and thus were not included on Tuesday's ballot.