Incumbent, challenger earn Democratic nods for Harrison commissioner
The husband of a district judge edged out an incumbent Harrison commissioner in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary, while another incumbent on the ballot cruised to victory.
In Harrison’s 3rd Ward, challenger Eric S. Bengel defeated incumbent Robin Bergstrom by 18 votes, 182-164, according to unofficial results.
Bengel, who had never sought elected office before, is married to District Judge Carolyn Bengel.
He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Bergstrom was first appointed in 2013 to replace her husband, Verne Bergstrom, after he died unexpectedly. She was first elected in 2015.
She could not be reached Wednesday.
A total of 92 write-in votes were cast in the Republican Party primary in the 3rd Ward, where no candidate was on the ballot. Write-in results are not yet available.
A write-in candidate needs at least 10 votes to appear on the November general election ballot, so there still could be an opponent in the fall for Bengel.
In the 1st Ward, incumbent Commissioner Charles Dizard collected 69.2% of the votes counted to defeat former Commissioner William E. Mitchell Sr. by about 40 percentage points, tallies showed. Dizard also defeated Mitchell in 2015.
Dizard received 175 votes from Democrats on Tuesday, while Mitchell received 74. There were four write-ins.
A total of 111 write-ins were made in the Republican primary in the 1st Ward, where, again, no candidates appeared on the ballot. Most of the Republican write-ins, according to Dizard, went to Democrats — Dizard said he had 76 of them, while Mitchell got 30.
Dizard said he felt good about getting the majority of both party votes.
“It was a long campaign,” he said. “I’m hopeful I can continue to make a contribution to improving the life of the township. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the board.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .