Firefighters, police officers play big role in ousting Lawrence Mayor

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LAWRENCE, Ind. (Nov. 3, 2015) -- Voters in Lawrence chose to unseat the incumbent Mayor, thanks in part to the work of the city's firefighters and police officers.

Voters elected Republican Steve Collier, a council member and former teacher, to the top post. He will take over for Democrat Dean Jessup, who served only one term in office.

Lawrence voters have not elected a Mayor to a second term since 1999.

A big factor in the race were the city's firefighters and police officers, who volunteered on the Collier campaign. Both the fire and police unions also endorsed Collier, putting up signs at polling places urging voters to choose him.

"I’m so humbled by what happened, by their support and now I just want to be able to earn it, (to) make sure that what I do the next four years, I’ve earned their support," Collier said.

Jessup told FOX59 he was disappointed but accepted the loss.

"We’ve done some great things in the last four years. We’ve moved the city forward and I’m proud of that fact. ... I wish my opponent the best and hope he loves Lawrence as much as I do because then he will move it forward," Jessup said.

Despite their choice for Mayor, voters changed the makeup of the city council to make it almost entirely Democratic. Collier told FOX59 one of his first priorities as Mayor will be to sit down with councilors and try to work across party lines.