5/11/2018 3:51:00 PM Ridgeway, Hensler achieve impressive wins in primary
Republican Jackson County Commissioner candidate Jon Hensler (center) reviews primary-election returns at the commissioners’ office with current County Commissioner Paul Haller (left) and Ohio Secretary of State Regional Liaison Bryn Stepp (right). Hensler defeated Randy Evans to win the GOP nomination. (Telegram Photo By Phil Buffington)
Jackson County Auditor Clyde Holdren (left) threw his public support to Deputy Auditor Tiffany Ridgeway (right) in her bid to succeed him in 2019. Ridgeway will do just that as a result of her overwhelming victory in Tuesday’s primary election.
Tiffany Ridgeway and Jon Hensler were the big winners in Tuesday's Republican primary election in Jackson County, while both major tax issues on the ballot were both defeated.
In a three-way contest for the Republican nomination for county auditor, Ridgeway was a runaway winner against Jim Milliken of Coalton and Chris Dupree of Wellston. Ridgeway, a Scioto Township resident who currently serves as deputy county auditor, won about two-thirds of the total vote, racking up 2,605 votes. Milliken was a distant second with 1,005 votes and Dupree was third with 255 votes.
Ridgeway stressed her in-office, hands-on experience in the auditor's office during her campaign and promoted that she had the endorsements of not only current County Auditor Clyde Holdren, but also County Commissioner Jerry Hall and County Treasurer Lee Hubbard.
Ridgeway was essentially elected auditor in the primary as there is no Democratic or independent candidate to oppose her in November's general election. Ridgeway would replace Holdren, who is retiring and did not seek re-election. Her first day of office in the new term will be March 11.
Ridgeway issued the following post-election statement: "Thank you to the voters of Jackson County for electing me your next County Auditor! I am very humbled by the outpouring of support. With this being my first-ever campaign, I have had a tremendous amount of help from family, friends and supporters. I cannot thank you enough! I look forward to taking office in 2019 and serving the citizens of Jackson County!"
In a hotly contested race for the Republican nomination for one of the three county commissioner positions, Hensler, a current Jackson city councilman, posted an impressive victory over Jackson-based businessman and former Jackson City Board of Education member Randy Evans. Hensler claimed 60 percent of the vote as he collected 2,315 votes to 1,536 for Evans. This was Hensler's second bid for a commissioner's seat as he was narrowly defeated in 2016 by fellow Republican Ed Armstrong.
"My family and I would like to sincerely thank you for all of the support that you've shown throughout our entire primary campaign," Hensler posted on his Facebook page. "The victory we achieved last night was a true, grassroots/team effort and we are very grateful for your continued support as I move into the fall election as your Republican nominee."
In an interview with The Radio immediately following his victory, Hensler identified jobs as the number-one issue he would pursue if elected commissioner later in the year.
Indeed, Hensler will have another contest in November's general election as Jackson City Councilman Ron Queen has filed petitions to run as an independent candidate for commissioner. There is no Democratic candidate. They both are seeking the seat currently held by Republican Jerry Hall, who opted not to run for re-election, but who did publicly endorse Hensler.
The primary election also involved the election of central committee positions for both the Jackson County Republican and Democratic parties. There were only three contested races, all on the Republican side. In Jackson 3A, Deborah Biggs defeated Katherine Sheward 93-54. In Jackson 4A, Brett Foster defeated Marva Colby 137-109. In Jefferson 2, Michael Blackburn defeated James Richard Hamilton 48-43.
There were two major tax issues on the ballot -- a new 1.5 mill countywide levy to support the children's foster-care program provided through the Jackson County Department of Job and Family Services, and a new 1 percent city income tax to provide funding for the Jackson Police Department.
The foster-care levy, which also was defeated in last November's general election, came closer this time around, but still was a loser as it gained 48.3 percent of the vote after winning 46 percent in the previous election. The actual vote was 2,304 votes for the levy and 2,462 against.
Meanwhile, the proposed income tax in Jackson failed by a much greater margin, but still gained approval of almost 42 percent of the voters, although there was no organized campaign to pass it. The final vote totals were 486 votes for the income tax and 679 against it.
Voters in Jackson City Precinct 1A also approved two related liquor options involving alcohol sales at Clark's Pump N Shop convenience store on Twin Oaks Drive. The option to permit the sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages Monday through Saturday passed easily, 248 to 153. The second option to permit the sale of wine and mixed beverages on Sunday between the hours of 1 p.m. and midnight passed by a closer vote of 223 to 181.