Rascher wins Republican race for Evansville Mayor

Rascher reacts to her Republican nomination win
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 7:58 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The results for the winner of the Evansville Republican mayoral primary election are in.

Vanderburgh County officials confirm that Natalie Rascher won the Republican primary, making her the party’s candidate for Evansville Mayor.

Rascher received 64% of the vote to defeat Cheryl Musgrave by a wide margin, officials confirm.

Smiles and applause filled Republican headquarters at the Foundry on Main as the final results came in, announcing Rascher as the winner.

“I’m overwhelmed honestly,” Rascher said. “To have such tremendous supporters come out, all of the volunteers who have helped me throughout this process, it’s been amazing. I’m very excited to be the Republican nominee this year.”

Rascher, a business woman, has never held public office, but ended the night with a decisive victory over her opponent Cheryl Musgrave. She says the win points to her connection with the voters.

“I think that they want to see a fresh face,” Rascher said. “They wanted to see that next generation of leadership step up to the plate, and I think that old adage of ‘nice matters.’”

Both Rascher and Musgrave spent the day last-minute campaigning to voters, but now the attention turns to November’s General Election.

Musgrave held a watch party at the Fraternal Order of Police, who had endorsed her campaign.

She released a concession statement, saying:

“I thank the voters who put their confidence in me in this primary -- and the volunteers who gave their time and talent, and the donors who invested their hard-earned dollars. I truly cannot thank you enough. I know you had to suffer in silence as we all weathered through the lies, blatant deceit and character assassinations from the opposition. But you kept your focus on what was most important: the people of Evansville. And while we may not be headed any further on the road to the mayor’s office this go around -- we will continue our fight to ensure Evansville is a safe, secure and thriving city that we all deserve.”

Rascher, along with Democrat Stephanie Terry, has a chance to make history and become the first woman elected as Evansville’s mayor.

“I wish that it wasn’t a thing,” Rascher said. “I wish we already had a female mayor, but I’m exited to hopefully hold that torch.”

Rascher announced her bid for the Republican candidate in early December of 2022.

Rascher will now run in November against Terry and Libertarian Michael Daugherty for Evansville Mayor.

14 News caught up with the candidates who ran unopposed shortly after the results were posted.

Daugherty and Terry both said they were surprised Rascher was able to beat such a veteran politician by a wide margin. They said they anticipate a competitive race.

Terry said in this election, the position of mayor is not a political position.

She said the focus is squarely on serving the community.

She emphasized that she’ll be launching what she calls a “listening tour” to work with the community, hear their concerns and make plans to improve the city.

“What you’re going to get from me is, number one, a collaborator,” Terry said. “[I’m] someone who’s truly invested in this community, someone with experience, and I look forward to serving this community.”

Libertarian Candidate Michael Daugherty took a moment to point out campaign financing in the race.

He said all other candidates are spending money on out of state consulting firms to help their campaigns.

He said he’s also looking to give citizens more direct lines of communication with city leadership.

His number one area of focus is reducing crime, but he also emphasized fiscal conservatism.

“I want to go through and see any and every place that we can save money so that we can utilize those savings in other areas that need assistance,” Daugherty said.

For more election results click here.

[Related Story: Vanderburgh Co. election results expected to come in quicker for May primary, officials say]

[Related Story: Forum held for Evansville mayoral candidates]

Brady Williams spoke with both Stephanie Terry and Michael Daugherty who discussed their reactions to Rascher’s win and what to expect from their campaigns:

Evansville Mayor opponents react to Rascher winning Republican race

Our Jordan Yaney was at Foundry on Main when Rascher gave her first reaction to her election win:

Rascher wins Republican race for Evansville Mayor

Our Brady Williams was at the Election Office Tuesday at 6 p.m. as the polls were starting to close:

Polls officially closed for Indiana Primary Election

Our Jordan Yaney was at the polls on Tuesday at 6 p.m. as they were closing:

Live at the Polls for 2023 Indiana Primary Election

Here’s our 11 a.m. live coverage Tuesday at the polls:

Polls officially open for Indiana Primary Election