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Jeff Maiden video chats with his daughter after winning the election for Athens County engineer. Maiden dominated the polls with 5,668 votes versus incumbent Archie Stanley’s 1,178. (Brien Vincent | Staff Photographer)

Maiden unseats Stanley by landslide margin in heated engineer battle

Jeff Maiden celebrated his landslide victory over Archie Stanley, a 32-year incumbent, in fitting fashion for an incoming county engineer — cutting into a cake topped with gray icing roads and yellow construction trucks.

Without a Republican opponent facing him in the November elections, Maiden’s primary win likely secured his position in the engineer’s office, which will begin in January.

“I might have been elected, but I see this (result) as the people of Athens County firing Archie Stanley,” Maiden said.

Maiden dominated the polls with 5,668 voters choosing him compared with 1,178 voters electing to go with the incumbent. Maiden captured 82.79 percent of the vote compared to 17.21 percent for Stanley, according to Athens County Board of Elections results.

“I felt like we could win (the race), but to nothing of this magnitude,” Maiden said after hearing the final numbers.

Maiden and more than 40 supporters gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings, 23 W. Union St., Tuesday night to wait for the final numbers from the Board of Elections.

As numbers came in precinct by precinct, cheers would erupt from the crowd until the official numbers were announced and members of Maiden’s campaign team offered celebratory hugs and congratulatory hand shakes.

“The voters of Athens have spoken,” Maiden said, pumping his fist in the air.

Since late November, Maiden’s campaign focused on the assertion that Stanley needed to be replaced after years of allegedly neglecting Athens County’s roads and bridges.

The 12-week race for county engineer became one of the hottest races of the primary, and elected officials and voters alike did not know what to expect in the results.

“I was very surprised that Stanley didn’t win,” Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly said. “But I think Maiden will do a good job.”

Throughout the campaign, Maiden and Stanley fought to eradicate accusations made by one another, with an emphasis placed on the records of the conditions of roads and bridges throughout the county.

“I would like to thank the citizens and voters of Athens County for letting me serve for 33 years,” Stanley said.

Maiden said one of his first actions in office will be to create an accurate inventory of all the roads and bridges in Athens County to see what work needs to be done.

“We only got 83 percent of the vote this election, and we need to get the rest of the 17 percent in the next four years,” Maiden said.

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