2008-11-08 / Front Page

Perry County Commissioners Race Too Close To Call

By Scott Rawdon

NEW LEXINGTON - It was a long night for Perry County voters - 87 percent of registered Perry County voters made it to the polls.

Counting non-electronic ballots lasted past midnight; board of elections workers said many of the ballots were completed with a check mark instead of a correctly filled in space next to the candidate's name or issue per the directions. Correcting the ballots was a lengthy process.

But, the wait will be even longer for Perry County Commissioner candidates Fred Shriner and Charles Van Horn, whose race will likely be decided next week when 332 provisional ballots not included in Tuesday night's unofficial results are counted. According to the unofficial results, Republican Shriner leads Democrat Van Horn 7,136 votes to 7,104 - a difference of 32 votes.

"I'm going to be on pins and needles for the next 10 days," said Shriner, the incumbent. "I said all along I'd do it," he said. Although he feels confident, he acknowledged the race isn't over until it's over.

In a more decisive race, Democrat commissioner candidate Ed Keister edged out Republican candidate Lloyd Harley, 7,246 to 7,000. Harley defeated incumbent Commissioner Thad Cooperrider in the May primary election.

Republican Sheriff William Barker clearly won a fourth term, defeating Democrat challenger Amy Nash English 8,120 votes to 6,728. In a prepared statement, Barker said, "I have so much to be grateful for. I have a wife of 31 years of marriage and a son and his family, all of good health. My mother and father are still living, many family members still living, and a God who loves me. My inlaws are all doing fine and I have many friends and supporters to be thankful for. I have a home, a 30- year career I'm very proud of, and I am still able to ride my Harley or climb a tree, waiting on a big old buck to cruise by. I live in a country and a county I love serving. Who could ask for more?" He had no further comment.

In other Perry County races, incumbent Democrat Timothy Wollenberg defeated Republican Chad Wilkins for Perry County Clerk of Courts, 9,262 votes to 4,985. In similar results, incumbent Barbara Fox defeated Ron Baker for county recorder, 9635 votes to 4775. On the judicial side, Common Pleas Judge candidate Tina Boyer defeated Dean Wilson 7,351 votes to 6,778, and Common Pleas Juvenile/ Probate Judge incumbent Luann Cooperrider soundly defeated challenger David Humphrey 10,307 votes to 4,199.

Perry County Prosecutor Joseph Flautt, Treasurer David Wilson, Engineer Kenton Cannon, and Coroner Bradley Wilson all ran unopposed.

Nearly every tax levy on the Perry County ballot was approved, with the exception of a Roseville Parks levy, which is tied at 154 votes (provisional ballots will decide the levy); a Monroe Township 1-mill road levy failed 311 votes against to 298 in favor; and a Mid-East Career and Technical School 1.4 mills levy failed 4972 votes against to 2908 in favor.

All three liquor options on the ballot were approved, including a Thornville liquor option, 297 to 202.

Additional results were:

• Glenford's 2.3-mill renewal levy passed 61 votes to 20.

• Somerset's 1-mill renewal levy passed 378 to 236.

• Hopewell Township's 2.5- mill fire renewal levy passed 672 votes to 356.

• Perry Multi-Purpose Senior Center's 0.5-mill renewal levy passed soundly, 9,644 votes to 4883.

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