Fenwick holds on to sheriff's seat

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- Tuesday's election results showed that Steve Fenwick will retain his position as Putnam County Sheriff.

Early returns from the polls showed that the Republican candidate would win against Independent candidate Joe Tesmer and Democratic candidate Garry Clark.

After the first 15 precinct totals were read, Fenwick had 2,705 votes and held a 1,542-vote lead over Tesmer. Clark had 920 votes, trailing Fenwick by 1,785.

By the time all results were read just after 8 p.m., Fenwick won the election, receiving 57.4 percent of the vote with 5,765 votes against Tesmer's 2,422 and Clark's 1,854. Clark received 18.46 percent of the vote while Tesmer took 24.12 percent.

"I just felt that we were the best people for the position, with our experiences and the knowledge of the Sheriff's Department and the jail both," Fenwick said. "My opponents' leader had none of that."

Fenwick won all 31 precincts in the county, and said he was most surprised with the returns from all three Cloverdale districts, winning 636 votes compared to Tesmer's 297 and Clark's 202.

"I would never have suspected that it would have been by those totals," he said.

As far as his connection with voters, Fenwick pointed to the county's confidence in his prior experience as sheriff for leading his campaign. He credited his experience and knowledge of the job for his re-election and thanked all who supported him during the race.

"I've been here for 30 years and I'm a familiar face," he said. "I've been around a long time."

Fenwick was appointed to the sheriff's position in September 2008 as the replacement to Mark Frisbie, who resigned in August 2008 after Frisbie pled guilty to charges of felony federal program theft in U.S. District Court that year.

Fenwick began his career with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department in 1981 as a jail officer and road deputy, also serving as the department's lieutenant colonel jail commander since January 2003.

He also spent time working as a university police officer at DePauw University and the town marshal of Fillmore. He was named Deputy of the Year in 1999 for excellence in combating anti-social behavior and reducing crime in the community.

Prior to Election Day, Fenwick has spoken out about what he said continues to be the most significant law enforcement issue facing the county: drugs.

Fenwick said he planned "to continue to give the county good coverage it has already been receiving."

"We're going to try to work on this drug problem also," he said.

Tesmer, who has served as the Putnam County Sheriff's Department as a reserve and merit deputy, said while he was disappointed with the outcome of the election, he knew the competition against the Republican party would be stiff.

"I knew going into the race it was going to be tough against the Republican party, but for an Independent never having run for sheriff before, I'm pretty proud of what I did," he said.

While Tesmer said he doesn't know what the future holds for his law enforcement career, he said he has no plans to run for sheriff in the next election.

"I wanted to try to keep the Sheriff's Department neutral and not show favoritism toward either party, Republican or Democrat," he said.

Even with his loss in the general election, Tesmer gave credit to the Independent ticket for winning against the Democrats in the sheriff's race.

"As I looked up on the board everyone else who was an independent, I did better number-wise than the rest of them," he said.

Democratic candidate Garry Clark said he enjoyed speaking with people during the campaign and offered "unprecedented openness."

"I enjoyed myself while offering solutions for the theft, hiding evidence, and shooting negligence of our past," he said.

Clark said he was pleased with the voter turnout while seeing much hope for the future.

"With the high voter turnout, it is conceivable that citizens will begin demanding government to publish financial records and other public records on the Internet with men like Sheriff Frisbie realizing their mischief will end soon," he said. "That is not a bad ending."

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  • well steve is a great sheriff and know the department very well and glad to have been a supporter to this canadate, GREAT JOB STEVE!!

    -- Posted by lleonard47 on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 1:05 AM
  • You might not like him, but, facts are facts ! he has devoted his LIFE to this county and his career in law enforcement, would you rather have someone who only wants a job, rather than furthering his career? Congrats to Steve, keep working on the county, carry your head high, the nay sayers are jealous of your success in your field !

    -- Posted by undercoverbrother on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 9:37 AM
  • Congrats Steve! Keep doing the job that you have been doing. You are doing great! This County needs more men like you.

    -- Posted by ladycubs on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 10:23 AM
  • I want to say that this nation does not need a political change. But a heart change. I say if you think for one moment that bringing the republican on aboard will change this nation sorry. Stop looking at others as if they have the answers to our nation's problems but look inside at our own hearts. What does it tell us? Is it full of anger and rage? Do we care about people? Or is it about how much we help ourselves and put others down? Google can tell you anything you want to know about the laws and any other political information we might need to know. But what Google cannot do is to instill men and women of integrity and honesty. I ask when you voted for the men and women in this counties election, did you research them did we see what type of people that work for them who they sounds their self's with? I want to go on the record by saying, I am very proud of all the men and women who ran for office!!!! I might not agree with you, but you tried to make a change the way you felt this country and county should be ran. Your families scarified a lot and we thank them too. Remember people before we go criticize these men and women don't forget they have husbands and wife and kids that love them please don't say anything that would hurt their family and friends...

    -- Posted by loveurbrother on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 11:06 AM
  • I thought Tesmer was the Democrat. That being true, how could this article be so messed up?

    -- Posted by justasking on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 11:38 AM
    Response by Banner Graphic:
    No, Joe Tesmer was an Independent candidate. Garry Clark won the Democratic bid in the May primary election.
  • Time for all the political signs to come down. Please don't leave them up to long.

    -- Posted by mad-mom on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 5:22 PM

    -- Posted by Michele1953 on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 8:48 AM
  • Great, a guy who cares more about how things look than how they function. Too bad all candidates were dullards.

    -- Posted by Mercidos on Wed, Nov 10, 2010, at 5:33 PM
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