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An American Flag waves across the street from the Athens County Courthouse on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Athens, Ohio.

Incumbents continue to hold county, state positions

Following the Midterm Elections, which took place on Nov. 8, multiple incumbents in state and county races emerged victorious, according to unofficial election results provided by the Athens County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

According to a previous Post report, incumbent Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was reelected against his opponent Nan Whaley. As of now, DeWine holds the election with 62.66% of votes, according to the Ohio Secretary of State website.

In a tweet on Nov. 8, DeWine thanked Ohioans for the opportunity to further lead them and promised to continue to fight for them to overcome the various challenges they face.

In another state race in which Athens County voters had a say, Republican incumbent Jay Edwards ran against Democrat Tanya Conrath for Ohio’s 94th District House of Representatives seat. As of now, Edwards holds the election with 61.17% of the overall vote, according to Ohio’s Secretary of State website.

Edwards said he was not stressed in regards to his own race and campaign, but instead, he focused his efforts on contributing to surrounding Republican races in the state.

“I cared a lot about the House Republican races and helped as the biggest donor to the House Republican races,” Edwards said. “I didn't put a lot of money into my own race. I spent all my money on races around the state and it looks like it paid off.”

Going forward, Edwards said he will be focusing his efforts on a few different bills he has introduced to the Ohio House. This includes expanding the gas pipeline infrastructure throughout southeastern Ohio, building more K-12 schools in rural areas, working further with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and providing better support for volunteer firefighters and other first responders in the state. 

In the Athens County races, the county auditor’s seat and one of the three county commissioner’s seats were up for reelection.

Incumbent Democratic candidate Lenny Eliason, Republican candidate Alex J. Burcher and independent Bill Hayes competed for the open Athens County Commissioner seat. According to the most recent unofficial results from the Athens County Board of Elections, Eliason emerged victorious with 52.99% of the vote.

Eliason said he plans to continue developing the Baileys Trail System and continue working toward receiving a water trail designation for the Hocking River.

According to a previous Post report, Eliason has held the seat since 1998, but this will be his final term.  

“After serving for 24 years and four more years, I think that's plenty of time to serve the people,” Eliason said. “I want to spend time with my family and my grandchildren and pursue other activities.”

Republican incumbent Jill Thompson and Democratic candidate Ric Wasserman went head-to-head for the Athens County auditor seat, with Thompson receiving 51.8% of the vote, according to current unofficial Athens County Board of Elections results. 

Thompson and Wasserman have also previously competed for the seat, according to a previous Post report. In 2002, Thompson also emerged as the victor, then receiving nearly 63% of the vote. 

Thompson described this year’s election night as a whirlwind of emotion, which can sometimes become overwhelming, she said. Although happy with the current result, she made it clear she does not consider the election entirely won until all provisional votes are certified. 

“Statistically, it's really not favorable for this to turn around,” Thompson said. “Generally, you'll see those provisionals break very similar to how those precincts broke, and if that's the case, then I would not expect a different outcome.”

Planning on continuing in her role as auditor; however, Thompson said she hopes to focus on maintaining and expanding electronic property transfers and introducing innovative hiring practices.

“I always try to earn every vote. Once the election’s behind me, I still feel like I'm only as good as what I do next,” Thompson said. “I don't ever feel like it's time to just sit back necessarily and just relax … I think as elected officials, and more so as public servants, we have a duty and a commitment to our voters and to our communities to step up.”


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