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Democrats Win Big in Athens Elections

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Athens County breathed a sigh of relief following the end of the 2012 election season. For the local elections, the Democratic Party dominated the polls.

Athens County Commissioner incumbent Larry Payne (R) fell to Charlie Adkins (D) with results of 43.49 percent for Payne and 56.51 percent for Adkins.

“I feel good and have a lot of great people around me who have helped me from the beginning,” said Adkins. “I am looking forward to trying to change the direction of the county. I would like to get student organizations and the community mixed in with Athens County.”

In the race for the chair left vacant by incumbent Athens County Commissioner Mark Sullivan, Chris Chmiel (D) defeated Randy Mace (R) with 63.87 percent of the vote.

The election of Athens County Sheriff remained in the grasp of the incumbent Patrick Kelly (D) with 58.73 percent.

“I’m relieved and glad it is over,” Kelly said of the election. “I ran on my record for the past four years.”

His opponent Steve Kane (R) said he would not run again following the results.

“Athens is a strong Democratic county, and you just cannot fix what people do or think,” said Kane. “I just do not understand how you can be elected and then steal from the public and then not give it back. If Athens’ politics are like this, then I am not even going to try again.”

The title of Athens County Treasurer went to incumbent Bill Bias (D) with 75.11 percent of the vote. Bias defeated Libertarian Abe Alassaf, who received a vote of 24.87 percent.

Ohio’s 15th District State Representative election went to Patrick Lang (D) with 69.89 percent of the vote in Athens County. Lang ran against Steve Stivers (R), who received 30.11 percent. Lang later lost the statewide election to Stivers.

The 30th District incumbent Lou Gentile (D) won with 65.98 percent over Steve Thompson (R), who received 34.02 percent of the vote.

The 94th District election went to Debbie Phillips (D) of Athens with 72.45 percent. Phillips defeated Charles Richter (R) of Little Hocking who had 27.55 percent of the vote.

Issue 1 regarding the Ohio Constitutional Convention question would create, revise or alter the state constitution. This issue would appear on the ballot for voters every 20 years. Issue 1 was defeated with 31.85 percent in favor and 68.15 percent opposed.

Issue 2 concerning the creation of a 12-person commission in charge of drawing legislative and congressional district maps failed to pass statewide but narrowly won in Athens County with 58.89 percent in favor and 41.11 percent opposed.

The Athens City School levy passed with 65.27 percent of the vote, compared to 34.73 for those opposed to the legislation.

“I am thrilled with the Democratic Party’s success,” said Kathy Hecht, chair of the Athens County Democratic Party. “I am thrilled that Athens County came through.”

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