Section: News

Incumbents sweep the Knox County Republican primaries

After a month’s delay and an expansion to mail-in voting, the Ohio primaries were finally conducted on Tuesday, April 28. Most votes were submitted to election officials much earlier than the late-April date, as in-person voting was limited to dropping off one’s ballot at a designated location. While the Presidential nominees for both parties have been determined for weeks, Knox County had a multitude of down-ballot races that could have ramifications on student life.

With Knox County swinging heavily Republican—registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by a 3:1 ratio—the important races were the contested Republican primaries. In the County Commissioners races, three-time incumbent Teresa Bemiller of Mount Vernon easily fended off primary challenger and Navy veteran Eric Wisyanski, while her counterpart and fellow incumbent Thom Collier defeated Mount Vernon resident Barry D. Lester by a margin of around 1,500 votes.

In the highly anticipated race for Knox County Sheriff, incumbent David Shaffer (R) was able to fend off Danville Chief of Police Daniel J. Weckesser (R), who ran his campaign on cracking down on street drugs. The Office of the Sheriff has made several appearances in the Collegian over the past year, starting in October when Deputy Sheriff Kevin Williams stopped black students and alumni using a golf cart on a Middle Path. Since the College’s contract with the Sheriff’s office came to an end in early April and is currently in the process of renewal, continuity in the Sheriff’s Office could benefit renewal negotiations.

While all of these candidates will have to wait until the general election in November to officially confirm their next terms, it is highly likely that their hardest challenge is now out of the way.

The Republican nominees for county-wide offices almost always end up victorious, and there is little reason to believe that the 2020 election will break from that trend.

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