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Coin toss decides race

NEW LEXINGTON – It was heads.

A coin toss at the Perry County Board of Elections decided the outcome of a Thorn Township Trustee race between one-term incumbent Dick Boring and challenger Robert E. Coleman, who tied in official results with 692 votes each. Coleman won the toss.

Unofficially, Coleman led Boring on election night by one vote – 690 to 689 before provisional ballots were counted.

“When they say your vote doesn’t count, sometimes it does,” said Perry County Board of Elections Chairman Jim Poorman, who tossed the coin Tuesday morning. He said according to State of Ohio regulations, the board of elections needed to declare a winner via the coin toss, then recount the votes, which remained a tie. Poorman said Coleman was present for the coin toss – Coleman chose heads – but Boring arrived later.

“It’s just the way the state calls it down,” said Coleman about his unorthodox win. “I just got the coin flip.” He said he’ll resign his position on the board of zoning appeals when he begins his trustee term.

Of his campaign, Coleman said, “I had fun dong it. I met a lot of really nice people.” He said he’s looking forward to his term and one of his goals will be to attract economic development to the township.

“It’s really not over yet,” said Boring, who accepts that he lost, but can’t accept that the coin was tossed without him. He’s contacted the state to learn if it’s legal to have a coin toss without both candidates being there. “They didn’t tell me about the coin toss.” Boring said it was impossible for him to be at the board of elections Tuesday morning and he understood the toss would wait until both he and Coleman could witness it. “I can accept losing, but I don’t accept the way it went down,” he said.

“I ran a clean campaign” free of lies and mudslinging, said Boring, adding that he wished the people who ran against him ran a similarly clean campaign. He’s not sure if there will be another coin toss with both he and Coleman present.

Poorman said there was another coin toss to determine Clayton Township’s fiscal officer when candidates Becky King and Sonya Saxton each received 190 votes, according to the official tally. Saxton won the toss.

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