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Tippecanoe County Democrat, Republican Party chairs weigh in on 2022 election results

Just under 40,000 voters turned out in Tippecanoe County on Nov. 8, roughly 32% of registered voters. (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)
Just under 40,000 voters turned out in Tippecanoe County on Nov. 8, roughly 32% of registered voters. (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

The chairs of Tippecanoe County’s Republican and Democratic parties spoke to the mix of wins and missed opportunities on both sides of the aisle one week after the 2022 elections – including how redistricting may have impacted the outcome for some candidates.

“I’m very happy with how all of our local Tippecanoe County candidates did,” she said. “I’m going to continue to focus on that… I think the tide is turning for Democrats in Tippecanoe County. We’ve seen that in some county-wide races, for instance – the sheriff’s race. I’d like to continue to grow that.”

But Chosnek acknowledged the performance of Democrats in Tippecanoe County was very different from the party’s statewide showing.

“The Democrats locally did very well,” she said. “Statewide, they did not perform as well.”

Tippecanoe County Republican Party Chair Tracy Brown said he was pleased with voter turnout - especially after low turnout during the primary.

“I spent all day at the polls in various locations,” he said. “They were backed up and people were coming out to vote. That’s something we all work towards.”

Brown said he wishes that Republicans had won more seats at the township level.

“But the folks who voted in the township races, they have spoken,” he said. “As we often do, we’re going to pull together and work together for the good of everybody. That’s traditionally what we do in Tippecanoe County. Doesn’t matter party affiliation or experience level, we find a way to get the job done.”

For Chosnek, Tuesday’s election results also underscored the impact of the state’s redistricting efforts last year.

When districts were redrawn in 2021, some county Democrats argued that the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette should stay together. Instead, the two towns were split between Senate District 22 and Senate District 23.

Chosnek said the results in Senate District 23 showed a clear dilution of Democratic votes - with the votes of the largely Democratic-leaning West Lafayette mixed in with the more Republican counties of Warren, Vermillion, Parke, and Fountain.

“When the maps were first released, I said I didn’t necessarily understand how putting the western part of Tippecanoe County – with its highly urban population – in a district with incredibly rural counties would meet the requirement of having communities of interest in one district,” she said.

Within the Tippecanoe County segment of District 23, Democrat David Sanders beat out Republican Spencer Deery with 53% of the vote.

That contrasts starkly with Sander's losses in other parts of the district - earning just 16% of the vote in Montgomery County, 34% in Vermillion, and 21% in Warren.

When asked about the impact of redistricting on the race in District 23, Brown said both Sanders and Deery worked hard in the run-up to the election.

“Spencer Deery is a good man, first and foremost, and I think he will do a wonderful job in representing the whole district,” he said. “I think he will do a wonderful job of representing the whole district, including the folks in West Lafayette, regardless of what political party they are from.”

Just under 40,000 voters turned out in Tippecanoe County on Nov. 8, roughly 32% of registered voters.