2012-11-10 / Front Page

Two new commissioners in Perry County

By Scott Rawdon

NEW LEXINGTON– Two of three Perry County Commissioners will be new next year. All three positions were open although incumbent Democrat Ed Keister retained h is by defe at i ng for me r Perry County Commissioner Republican Thad Cooperrider 7,569 votes to 6,362.

All results are currently unofficial as the county has yet to count provisional ballots. That count should be concluded 10 days from Election Day, Nov. 6.

“I can’t thank everybody enough,” said Keister Wednesday, adding that a win isn’t possible without the electoral support of voters, and friends and family’s moral support. “We’ve got a lot on our plate,” he said, looking forward to another term. Keister said some of the county’s major issues include infrastructure improvements, water lines, and maintaining and creating small businesses throughout the county. He said the county’s new web site, visitperrycountyohio.com, is a great place for Perry County businesses to advertise themselves for free. “That’s a real good tool for people to use,” he said.

Democrat Jim O’Brien defeated Republican challenger Lloyd Harley 7,234 votes to 6,767. Incumbent Commissioner Board President Fred Shriner did not seek another term. “I thank everyone who supported me, and thanks to my family who supported me tremendously,” said O’Brien. “There are lots of people to thank.” In looking ahead to taking office, “There is always a need to bring in new jobs,” he said, adding that county government must work diligently to avoid raising taxes. He also anticipates working with local organizations to promote economic development.

“I’m very thankful for the support the community has given me,” said Republican Perry County Commissionerelect David Frer i ks, who defeated incumbent Democratic commissioner Tim Green 7,001 votes to 6,785. Green was appointed an interim commissioner April 18 after former commissioner Lonnie Wood pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors - assault and unlawful restraint. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, $1,250 in fines (plus court costs), 100 hours of community service within 90 days, and as part of a plea deal, had to give up his commissioner position, and agreed not to hold or seek a position in public office for 10 years .

G reen was appointed through the rest of this year, but had to run in Tuesday’s election to fulfill the remainder of Wood’s unexpired term, which runs through 2014.

In other Perry County races, incumbent Sheriff William Barker defeated challenger Amy Nash English 7,529 votes to 6,880. In the clerk of courts contest, Timothy Wollenberg soundly defeated challenger Penny Wilkins 9,012 votes to 4,411, and in the county recorder’s race, Jackie Hoover defeated Ashly Heavener 8,431 votes to 5,638. Melissa Leasa Walter defeated Ron Baker 8,136 to 5,896 in the race for county treasurer. Incumbents county engineer Kenton Cannon and county prosecutor Joseph A. Flautt were unopposed for new four year terms. Bradley C. Wilson was also unopposed for county coroner.

Somerset’s one mill renewal tax levy passed 398 in favor to 206 opposed, and the Thorn Township 1.2 mills replacement fire levy passed easily, 1,092 votes in favor to 957 opposed.

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