Ken de la Bastide: Ken de la Bastide column: Is local GOP anticipating a red wave on Election Day?

Nov. 5—Election Day is rapidly approaching and races both in Madison County and throughout Indiana are drawing considerable interest.

It's been an interesting election cycle here in the county.

In previous years both parties have their state tickets make an appearance in Madison County to energize the base or to encourage voters to go to the polls.

The state Democratic Party staged an event at party headquarters in Anderson with U.S. Senate candidate Tom McDermott, State Auditor candidate Zenai Brooks, Congressional candidate Jeannie Lee Lake and State Senate candidate Tamie Dixon-Tatum in attendance.

The entire Democratic ticket is returning to Anderson tonight for a final appearance at 7 p.m.

It's probably not the best time to hold a rally, but the party faithful will likely turn out.

Aside from Republican Secretary of State candidate Diego Morales, none of the other GOP state candidates have visited Anderson.

Morales was a speaker at the annual Lincoln Club dinner.

He is facing numerous allegations pertaining to his voting record, military service, sexual abuse and job performance.

Incumbent Congresswoman Victoria Spartz has also not been in Madison County for a public event since a town hall several months ago in Pendleton.

Maybe as a result of Madison County turning a deeper shade of red in the most recent elections, the GOP state party is confident that voters will cast votes for Republicans at not only the state, but the county level.

Are Republicans taking the results on Tuesday for granted in expecting a near sweep of contested races in the county?

Early voting has exceeded projections with nearly 5,000 voters casting ballots in the last week.

Although the Democratic Party locally is not as strong as in past election years for county offices in getting their base vote to the polls, several candidates are working hard to either retain current positions or to pull off upset wins.

Local races that are expected to be particularly close include the race for sheriff between Democrat Joey Cole and Republican John Beeman.

There is a lot of interest in the four county council contests.

Will incumbent Democrat Fred Reese hold off a challenge from Jodi Norrick? Can Jerry Burmeister upset Republican Ron Steele?

Another close council race is expected between Republican Bethany Keller and Dawn Johnsen.

At stake is control of the Madison County Council, which currently has a 6-1 GOP majority.

If Reese is successful and Burmeister and Johnsen win, it would change the make-up of the council to 4-3.

Should Reese lose his re-election bid and the Republicans win in the other races, the GOP would old all seven seats on the council.

Contested school board races in Anderson and the Pendleton area are also bringing people to the polls.

Local residents should take the opportunity to vote in an important county election.

Senior Reporter Ken de la Bastide's column publishes Saturdays. Contact him at or 765-640-4863.