It was a low-turnout special primary election throughout Ohio Tuesday and it was no different in Fayette County, which had an 8.25% voter turnout, according to unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections.
Out of 16,932 registered voters in the county, 1,397 ballots were cast. There were 1,162 Republican ballots cast and 235 Democratic ballots cast.
A major reason cited by election officials for the extremely low turnout across the state is that this was the second primary election of the year. The Ohio House and Senate primary races typically take place in May, but a second special primary became necessary as a result of the ongoing issues with district maps that have repeatedly been struck down by the state’s Supreme Court.
In July, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a second Republican-drawn map of U.S. House districts as gerrymandered, sending it back for a third attempt to meet constitutional parameters approved by Ohio voters. The ruling added to a string of court defeats for Ohio’s ruling Republicans amid the once-per-decade redistricting process that states undertake to reflect population changes from the U.S. Census. Despite those failures in court, however, Ohio’s 2022 congressional primaries went forward on May 3 under an earlier invalidated U.S. House map, and its legislative primaries went forward Tuesday under an unconstitutional Statehouse map.
New maps will not be put in place until 2024.
State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House, 17th District) ran unopposed in securing the Republican nomination for Ohio’s 91st House District, which is currently held by Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro), who is running for the Ohio Senate.
Peterson, who is term-limited in the 17th State Senate District at the end of this year, received 1,048 votes in Fayette County at Tuesday’s election. He will face no Democratic challengers in November as there were no valid petitions filed by Democrats in the House District 91 race.
On his campaign Facebook page, Peterson posted, “I very much appreciate all the complimentary votes I received today. Thank you to everyone who participated in democracy by voting. We should never take for granted that we live in a country that gets to elect its leaders.”
Peterson is a businessman, farmer, and public servant whose roots run deep in the local area. He is an eighth generation farmer and small business owner, managing an agricultural operation that produces corn, soybeans, wheat and livestock. He joined the Senate in 2012 after being elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010 and previously served as a Fayette County Commissioner. He served five years as president of the Ohio Farm Bureau.
State Rep. Wilkin, of Hillsboro, defeated Thomas Hwang in the Republican primary for the 17th Senate District. In November, Wilkin will face Garry Boone, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 17th Senate District.
Ohio’s 17th District includes Fayette, Clinton, Highland, Gallia, Jackson, Pike and Ross counties, as well as parts of Lawrence, Pickaway and Vinton counties.
In Fayette County, Wilkin received 898 votes (78%) to Hwang’s 253.
Running on the Democratic primary ballot for State Central Committee (Male, 17th District) were Chase Brown and Fayette County native Dylan L. Page. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s unofficial results, Brown won by a close 1,456-1,312 margin. In Fayette County, Page received 167 votes to Brown’s 63.
Stacy Brooks ran uncontested on the Democratic ballot for State Central Committee (Female, 17th District) and Bonnie Ward ran unopposed on the Republican primary ballot for State Central Committee (Female, 17th District).