By Maya Lowenstein
On November 4, many Americans took time out of their schedules to take the trip to their local polling station and vote in the midterm elections. In Knox County, positions up for grabs included state representative, county commissioner and probate juvenile judge. In each election, the Republican candidate won by a wide margin.
Margaret Ann Ruhl (Republican), who will be serving her third term in the Ohio House of Representatives, secured 63.77 percent of the vote. “I am humbled and privileged that the voters of Knox County elected me to another two-year term,” Ruhl said in an interview with the Collegian. “I will work hard to serve my constituents to the best of my ability.”
Also in the race for Ohio House of Representatives, Joyce Skocic (Democrat) won 24.94 percent and Randy Miller (Independent) won 11.3 percent.
Roger Reed received 68.9 percent of the vote, granting him his second term as county commissioner. “The people of Knox County are very informed people,” Reed said over the phone. “They found that I was the candidate with electability, and the most government experience.” Reed served as mayor of Fredericktown, Ohio for 16 years and he stood on city council for six years before winning his first term as county commissioner. Reed said his opponent, Eric Wisyanski (I), was a “nice gentleman but had no government experience.” Wisyanski won 31.1 percent of the vote.
Jennifer Springer was elected as the Knox County probate juvenile judge. Springer secured 56.25 percent of the vote, while her opponent, Jeffrey C. Williams, earned 43.75 percent. “My platform is about change,” Springer said. “I’m all about rehabilitation. I’m all about helping children, helping juveniles. However, I think in our society we need to be held accountable for actions.”
A highly-charged issue this election was the tax levy towards education failing to pass for the ninth consecutive time. According to the East Knox School Board’s website the levy would “address the growing deficit situation that has occurred over the last several years.” The levy consisted of $3.9 million of property tax ($136.50 per year for a $100,000 home) and one half of one percent (0.5 percent) earned-income tax. The last time East Knox passed a levy that is still active was in 1984.
Kenyon students Faith Masterson ’16 and Phoebe Roe ’16, who founded PEKK (Partnership with East Knox and Kenyon), described themselves as “devastated and disappointed, but not surprised that the levy didn’t pass.” Due to the school board’s lack of funds, they have been forced to combine the middle school and high school, eliminate arts programs, charge students to play sports and severely cut back on their teaching staff. “I think it highlights what’s wrong with education in the U.S.,” Roe said. “Education is truly the foundation of everything the U.S. stands for, but it gets such little funding.”