OTTAWA — If you were running for office with an “R” beside your name, chances are you did well in Putnam County.
By and large, Republicans fared very well in the county during Tuesday’s election, with the GOP winning in every state and federal race. The only Democrat to win was county commissioner John Love, defeating Republican write-in candidate Randy Schroeder.
“I looked at the fact that [Schroeder] hadn’t voted for a long time,” Mel Borton, of Ottawa, said. “I don’t want anyone who hasn’t voted to hold office.”
Ottawa resident Nestor Reyes does not align with either party, instead voting for whichever person he believes will fight abortion and defend gun rights. However, he did not vote for Schroeder, citing a lack of knowledge about the candidate.
“I’ve only been here eight years,” he said. “My perspective was that I wanted to know more about Mr. Schroeder than just a pamphlet.”
Republican Robert McColley took 77 percent of the vote in Putnam County over Democrat John Lymanstall in the 81st District House race.
“One is a moderate and the other is somewhat more conservative, and I went with the more conservative choice,” Reyes said.
The other big Putnam County winner were the various levies on the ballot, with Continental’s 2.5 mill roads and bridges levy being the only loser at the polls. For both Borton and Reyes, issues such as mental health services and the county’s 911 system were too important not to support.
“We need mental health services,” Borton said. “If you don’t fix mental health, we have no one to blame but ourselves when we get situations that are beyond our control.”
“Knowing it’s just a percentage of what’s coming out of my pay, those are things I never haggle over,” Reyes said. “Those two levies are beneficial for our community.”