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Local Elections 2014

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The general trend for 2014 Athens County Midterm Elections was to keep the incumbent. Many ran unopposed, but all candidates running for re-election held their seats.

The candidates for Athens County Auditor were incumbent Jill Thompson (R) and challenger Kathy Hecht (D). Thompson won with a little more than 58 percent of the vote.

Hecht stayed out of the spotlight on election night, while Thompson gathered with supporters in her office.

Upon hearing the news of her re-election, Thompson expressed gratitude and humility as she thanked her volunteers.

“I’m proud of the race that we ran and I’m proud of my staff – how they conducted themselves – and I appreciate my volunteers.”

Thompson said she ran on accountability, transparency, honesty, being accessible and being qualified.

“I’ll do what I can to continue to make government work for Athens County and keep our elected officials and our government accountable.”

The candidates for Athens County Common Pleas Court Judge were incumbent George McCarthy and challenger Herman Carson. McCarthy won with a little more than 56 percent of the vote.

McCarthy could not be reached for comment after the ballots were counted. Carson, however, mingled in the dining room of The Pigskin Bar and Grille.

To Carson, the thought of losing was not particularly dire. He had no plan for a victory lap up Court St., nor had he plans to give a parting speech to his constituents in the event of a loss. Carson, a grandfather and life-long Athenian, just wanted to “go home [and] pet the dog.”

When Carson was informed he lost the race to McCarthy by a very small margin, he was unphased. He did not intend to sulk in the face of defeat. “[The campaign] was definitely worth it,” he said. “I’ve got tomorrow off, and Thursday I go back to work!”

The candidates who won their seats unopposed include Patrick Lang for Common Pleas Court Judge, Robert Stewart for Probate/Juvenile Divisions Common Pleas Court Judge and Peter Abele for Athens County Appeals Court Judge.

Lenny Eliason (D) also won unopposed to be re-elected to his Athens County Commissioner seat.

As far as the issues go, only 2 out of the 34 in Athens County did not have an overwhelming vote in favor.

Issue 1, concerning a renewal of a tax for the purpose of operating a tuberculosis clinic for care and treatment of tubercular residents, amounting to 3 cents, passed with a little more than 54 percent in favor.

Issue 2 concerned the Athens County Public Libraries and an additional tax of 10 cents for every one hundred dollars of the assessed value of the property. It passed with a little more than 64 percent in favor.

Issue 4 involved renewing a property tax, which provides or maintains services or facilities for senior citizens. It passed with almost 74 percent in favor.

Issue 5 involved a tax for the operation and maintenance of emergency medical vehicles. It passed with nearly 72 percent in favor.

Issue 6 was a 15-cent tax for maintenance and operation of programs and services for The Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities. It passed with almost 59 percent in favor.

Issue 7 was for the City of Athens and was only voted on in certain precincts. It concerns a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing and related procedures within Athens city limits. It passed with almost 79 percent in favor.

Issue 8 concerned a municipal income tax increase of 10 cents for the City of Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department. It passed with a little more than 69 percent in favor.

The two issues that were not overwhelmingly approved include Issue 15 in the Village of Buchtel regarding Electrical Aggregation, and Issue 16, a tax levy in the Village of Coolville, for the purpose of current expenses. Issue 15 came out 50/50, a tie, and Issue 16 had only 35 percent in favor.

Out of 43,737 registered voters in Athens County, 14,309 casted a ballot for this election, a 32.72 percent voter turnout.

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