The votes stacked up for Athens County’s newest treasurer, Bill Bias, after a landslide victory over his Libertarian opponent.
Bias defeated his opponent Abe Alassaf by more than 50 percentage points, according to data from the Athens County Board of Elections. Bias won 16,499 votes — or 75.11 percent — while Alassaf only collected 5,467 votes — or 24.89 percent.
The official election results will not be available for another 10 days.
“I’m very pleased that the voters have entrusted me with this responsibility,” Bias said. “Athens has been so good to me. It’s given me an education and a career. I’m so pleased to call Athens County home.”
To Athens residents, students, and even Alassaf himself, Bias’s win did not come as a surprise given his previous political experience and strong community ties.
“I’m a long-time resident and Bill has a long history in politics and community service,” said Andrea Reik, director of Athens County Children Services. “The community is behind him. It was an easy vote.”
Bias will be paid $53,214 as Athens County treasurer.
Although Alassaf said he wasn’t expecting to win the race, he was hoping to win at least 30 to 40 percent of the vote.
“A lot of people vote by the letter next to your name,” Alassaf said. “I thought I would lose, but I just didn’t know by how much.”
Dane Waller, a 2011 Ohio University graduate who assisted Alassaf with his campaign, said Alassaf would have provided a new perspective and a much-needed change to the city.
“(Abe) cares about Athens and his opponent is corrupt,” Waller said. “I’ve gone to City Council a couple times and (Bias has) laughed in my face. I wouldn’t say he’s a team player.”
Despite Bias’s landslide victory, Alassaf said he has not given up on his political career, as he hopes to run for City Council in the future.
“I wanted to be the alternative,” Alassaf said. “(The race) wasn’t too big of an upset. I’ll be back; Athens hasn’t seen the last of me.”