Voters Speak

EASTERN OHIO voters have spoken, and in the process they delivered several mixed messages.

One called for change, another reaffirmed status quo, while a third was an emphatic disdain for school levies.

The polls attracted a larger GOP primary turnout than usual. Part is due to the fluid Republican presidential race.

The local ballot also featured some intriguing Democratic matchups.

One of those contests was the Belmont County Democratic sheriff’s race, one in which incumbent Fred Thompson fell victim to a spirited campaign from Dick Flanagan. The veteran Bellaire policeman posted a fairly easy triumph, gaining nearly 55 percent of the votes.

Belmont County voters were also likely drawn to the polls by another hot-ticket race.

When longtime and highly regarded County Treasurer Joe Gaudio opted not to seek re-election, it spawned a three-person Democratic battle, and a battle it was. Kathy Curfman, relying on her accounting background, posted a surprisingly easy win over Mike Shaheen and Mike Bianconi.

In addition to Thompson’s ouster, the message of change came through loud and clear in Harrison County. Incumbent Commissioner Barbara Pincola was soundly defeated by Dale Norris.

While the Harrison electorate wanted a new commissioner, Belmont County voters were fine with theirs. An incumbent Democratic Commissioner Ginny Favede rolled to an impressive triumph. She faces no challenger in November.

Schools, specifically those in Jefferson County, were left looking for answers after levy issues were rejected across the board. Indian Creek, Edison and Jefferson JVS all came up short in varying degrees for their funding requests.

When school levies are shot down, it yields financial hardships and much uncertainty. Edison is experiencing extremely difficult times, and may now cease high school busing while implementing pricey pay to pay. Levy approval would have delivered a large dose of relief to the district.

Voters don’t always get all the results they hope for in election, but we are pleased that so many individuals cast a ballot in the March primary.

It is often said every vote counts. That was again reflected in Tuesday’s Jefferson County Democratic commissioner’s race. Robert Steve Vukelic prevailed by a mere two votes out of more than 8,000 cast.