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Shelbyville City Council: Andriot joins 5 incumbents

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Matthews bid for 6th term comes up short

By Todd Martin

One of the biggest Shelbyville City Council elections in years didn’t change much.

Republican Bob Andriot, the owner of Bell House Restaurant and leader of the Shelbyville Preservation Group that is looking to renovate the old Blue Gables Motel into a retail and arts center, was the second-leading vote-getter, earning 10.3 percent of the vote.

Andriot and incumbent Republican Jon Swindler, 10.2 percent, were two of the top three as voters chose six candidates from a field of nine. Republican Robert Burry had withdrawn from the race, but his name remained on the ballot.

All trailed incumbent Democrat Donna Eaton, who earned 10.8 percent. Eaton also had led in the primary race.

Incumbent Republican Frank Page returns with 9.6 percent of the vote, and splits the council as half Republican and half Democrat for the first time in decades.

Joining Eaton are fellow Democrat incumbents Shane Suttor, with 9.7 percent of the vote, and Mike Zoeller, 9.6 percent.

Suttor rebounded from barely making it through the Democratic primary by 11 votes. It was the first primary in a city council race since 1998.

Andriot, a longtime leader in local business, based his campaign on using business-acumen to help lead the city.

“I am very passionate about Shelbyville promoting good growth, looking to the future with the hope for diversity of businesses and more opportunities for people to enjoy being downtown,” he said in an interview last month. “I believe the bypass should remain a bypass; therefore growth should be from downtown out.”

Andriot did not return a message left by The Sentinel-News on Tuesday night after the election results were announced.

Eaton, who was also received the second highest total of votes in 2010, said she believes her staying power comes from getting out and talking to her constituents.

“I worked really hard to get out and talk to people, going door-to-door,” she said. “I want to hear their concerns and what they want from the city government.”

Moving forward, Eaton said she’s looking forward to working with Andriot, and keeping the city on task.

“We’re always looking for jobs,” she said. “We’ve been able to recruit one plant and help with the expansion of two other, so we want to keep providing opportunities for people in the community.

“And if we can continue to do that, it will help us keep our taxes low.”

Andriot’s first term and the successive terms of the incumbents will begin on Jan. 1.