No matter what happens at the polls today, there will be a new look to Columbus City Council at the start of the year with at least four new council members on an expanded council.
Due to the decision to move the city up to second class status with the state, the council will be expanding from its current seven seats to nine seats. Six of those will be seats are by district, where only the voters in the district can make the choice, while there are three at-large seats up for grabs today where voters across the city will choose.
Adding the additional seats also caused a redrawing of the boundaries for the districts, which means you might not see your current council member on your ballot today.
Of the current seven council members, five are running for re-election on today’s ballot. That includes Democrats Elaine Hilber, Jerone Wood, Tom Dell and Grace Kestler. Frank Miller is the only Republican seeking re-election. Republicans Tim Shuffett and Dave Bush are not seeking re-election.
Dell and Kestler are running for the three at-large seats on the council, along with Democrat Paul Hoffman and Republicans Josh Burnett, Alex Engelbert and Chris Rutan.
In the open District 1 seat, Republican Chris Bartels is running against Democrat Nicholas Slabaugh. Incumbent Councilwoman Hilber is running against Republican Vicki Griffin in District 2. In District 3, incumbent Wood is facing Republican Sue Norma-Chapple. The incumbent Republican Miller is running against Democrat Keegan Hill in District 4. Republican Kent Anderson and Democrat Eric Riddle are running for the open seat in District 5, and Republican Jay Foyst and Democrat Bryan Munoz are seeking the District 6 seat.
There are 8 vote centers around Columbus where you can cast your ballot until 6 tonight. If you have any questions about voting in Bartholomew County, you can call the voter registration office at 812-379-1604
You can hear the election results tonight on air and on our website starting at 7 p.m.