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Burkhart, Bolon win commissioner races

The mood at the Monroe Theatre was tense in the first two-and-a-half hours after polls closed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Family members searched for results and nervously waited outside as Republican candidates for Monroe County Commissioner Bill Bolon and Diane Burkhart waited inside.

The minutes slowly ticked by until around 10:15 p.m. when the unofficial results were finally released and signaled an overwhelming victory for county Republicans.

Both Republican challengers defeated their incumbent opponents by wide margins.

Burkhart defeated Democrat incumbent Carl Davis by more than a 2-to-1 margin, finishing with 68 percent of the vote. Burkhart received 4,703 votes to 2,202 for Davis.

When she assumes her seat in January, Burkhart will be the second woman to serve as Monroe County Commissioner, the first being Margaret Clegg in the late 1970s. Burkhart is also the first Republican female county commissioner in Monroe County history.

“My first reaction is this is really exciting. I really wasn’t expecting this,” Burkhart said. “I’m very happy. Nothing will please me more than helping the county. I am eager to get started.”

Bolon also picked up a convincing win. The former Woodsfield mayor picked up 55 percent of the vote, finishing with 3,811 votes. Democratic challenger Ron Taylor finished with 25 percent of the vote (1,756), while Independent incumbent Tim Price finished with 20 percent (1,410).

“I’m excited and thankful for all the support I got here in the county,” Bolon said.

Bolon said he tried to make Election Day as normal as possible, treating it like a regular workday. But following work, he got ready only to realize he had two hours to kill before the polls closed.

“Those were the longest two hours of the day,” Bolon said.

In the weeks leading up to the election, he got plenty of positive feedback from members of the community, which gave him a feeling that he could pull it off. But he couldn’t relax until he got the official results.

“You always hope you’ll do well,” Bolon said, “but you can’t relax until the numbers come across.”

Burkhart and Bolon took a moment to enjoy the victory, but they were already planning on how to get started.

Both plan on attending meetings over the next two months in order to get a firm grasp on what’s going on in the county.

“I want to get acclimated in the next few months,” Bolon said, “so when I can hit the ground running when I take office.”

In other results from the Nov. 3 general election, county voters approved every tax levy and local option on the ballot.

The Monroe Soil and Water Conservation District levy passed by more than 2,000 votes. Sixty-five percent of voters (4,477) were for the levy, while 2,411 voted against it.

Wayne Township’s levy for operating expenses passed, with 117 votes for the levy and 66 votes against.

Summit Township voters approved a levy for current expenses by a 3-to-1 margin. Seventy-five percent (269) were for the levy and 25 percent (89) against.

Lee Township voters passed a levy for fire protection, 72 percent (364) for the levy, and 28 percent (144) against it.

Green Township voters passed three levies. Two were for road maintenance, with both passing with 73 percent (168 and 166) for the levy and 27 percent (63 and 62) against. The third was for fire protection, passing with 76 percent (176) for the levy and 24 percent (55) against.

Center Township voters approved a levy for road maintenance. Sixty-three percent (400) were in favor of the levy. Thirty-eight percent (240) were against.

Bethel Township voters passed a levy for fire protection, with 79 percent (121) in favor of the levy and 21 percent (32) against.

Monroe County’s Wilson Village voters were in favor of a levy for road maintenance by a slim margin, with 23 for the levy and 20 against.

Voters approved an option to permit Sunday beer sales at the Bell store in Clarington. Sixty-two percent (290) were in favor of the option, and 38 percent (176) were against it.

In state contests, Republican Ron Ferguson took a majority of votes in the race for State Representative, finishing with 72 percent of county votes (4,992) to 25 percent for Democrat Richard Olivito (1,712). Libertarian Oscar Herrera received 170 votes.

Ferguson won the seat with 66 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Olivito.

Republican incumbent Frank Hoagland had similar success in the race for State Senator. Hoagland received 72 percent of county votes (4,910) to 28 percent (1,907) for Democrat challenger Michael Fletcher. Hoagland won the race with 67 percent of the vote.

Two races were held for justice of the State Supreme Court.

County voters preferred incumbent Sharon L. Kennedy (61 percent, 3,586) over challenger John O’Donnell (39 percent, 2,270), and challenger Jennifer Brunner (59 percent, 3,396) over incumbent Judi French (41 percent, 2,320).

Kennedy and Brunner were projected to win their respective races late Tuesday evening.

In the race for U.S. Congressman, Republican incumbent Bill Johnson had little trouble with Democratic challenger Shawna Roberts, defeating her in the county by a 3-to-1 margin, 5,252 to 1,676.

Johnson was projected to win his race late Tuesday evening.