Republicans increase majority on County Board to 16-5 with victories in Districts 2, 4, 7

Posted: Nov. 7, 2012 3:29 am Updated: Oct. 23, 2014 3:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Ryan Niekamp had a lot of energy Tuesday night as election results rolled in, just like he did throughout the campaign.

Niekamp, a 21-year-old Republican who said walking the district twice during the campaign made the difference, was voted to the Adams County Board in District 2.

"Just going out, meeting the voters, talking with them, talking about the issues and just telling them our message is what really did it," he said.

Niekamp and Becky Weed, also a Republican, beat Democratic incumbents Steve Schutte and Joe Holtschlag.

Weed received 1,596 votes, with Niekamp getting 1,539. County Board member Randy Reis, a Democrat, won re-election in the district with 1,503 votes. Schutte and Holtschlag received 1,270 and 1,221 votes, respectively.

It was a good night for Republicans on the Adams County Board as all candidates were elected, giving them a 16-5 majority. Republicans had a 13-8 majority on the County Board entering the election.

Because of redistricting after the 2010 U.S. census, all 21 County Board members were up for re-election, but only 12 seats were contested in the general election.

Even with a stronger majority, County Board Chairman Mike McLaughlin said there should not be much change on the board, because most issues are not decided along party lines.

"There is not a lot of change," McLaughlin said. "There will be some transition for some of the new ones, and that's it."

New members will have to hit the ground running, because the county's tax levy is up for a vote in December.

One of the new members is Republican Joe Zanger, who won a seat in District 7 in his first run for elective office.

"Truthfully, I just hope I can be with the folks that voted me in," he said. "I hope I vote in the way they hope I do."

Zanger, who received 3,245 votes, will replace County Board member Bob Scott, R-7, who did not seek re-election.

Also winning seats in District 7 were Republican incumbents Theresa Bockhold and Duane Venvertloh, who received 2,961 and 2,680 votes, respectively. Democratic candidate Scott Meyer received 1,420 votes.

In District 4, Kent Snider, a Republican, said he was ready to get to work after his win. He previously served seven years on the County Board in District 3 before resigning in 2010 after he moved out of the district.

"I look to get right back on the Finance Committee and hit the ground running," Snider said. "I've really not lost contact with the people or the issues that are at hand. I think it will be a very easy transition for me."

Snider was the top vote-getter in District 4, receiving 3,380. Joining him will be Republican incumbent John Heidbreder and former board member Lyle Nichols, who received 2,878 and 2,804 votes, respectively. They defeated Democrats Ted Haugh, who received 1,759 votes, and Kevin Broemmer, who tallied 1,461.

Current District 4 board members John Johnson and Joe Wand -- both Republicans -- did not seek re-election.

In District 5, Republican incumbents Rick Gengenbacher and Mark Peter, along with Democratic incumbent Matt Obert, soundly defeated Otis Watts, a Democrat.

Gengenbacher received 3,476 votes, with Obert getting 2,879 and Peter getting 2,733. Watts received 956 votes.


The makeup of the Adams County Board

District 1

Richie Reis - Democrat
Todd Duesterhaus - Democrat
Connie Sparks - Democrat

District 2

Randy Reis - Democrat
Ryan Niekamp - Republican
Becky Weed - Republican

District 3

Mike McLaughlin - Republican
Marvin Kerkhoff - Republican
Todd Degitz - Republican

District 4

Kent Snider - Republican
John Heidbreder - Republican
Lyle Nichols - Republican

District 5

Matt Obert - Democrat
Rick Gengenbacher - Republican
Mark Peter - Republican

District 6

Les Post - Republican
Seldon Totsch - Republican
John Brady - Republican

District 7

Joe Zanger - Republican
Theresa Bockhold - Republican
Duane Venvertloh - Republican


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