In the Republican primary election race for Fayette County Commissioner, Tony Anderson was leading Donald Fleak by 177 votes Tuesday night, although there are still ballots to be counted, according to unofficial results.
Currently, Anderson, who holds the office of commissioner with a term expiring Jan. 1 of next year, has a total of 1,349 votes while Fleak has 1,172 votes. The candidate that officially wins majority vote will be the Republican candidate for commissioner during the Presidential general election this November alongside current commissioner Dan Dean, who is running unopposed for re-election.
As previously reported, the original date of this year’s primary election (March 17) was postponed after polls across the state didn’t open due to legislation that was passed by the Ohio General Assembly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The official day was postponed to Tuesday, April 28 with mail-in ballots becoming the norm.
“This was not your typical election,” explained Beth Ann Snyder, the Fayette County Board of Elections director. “Normally at this time, we would only have 10 or 11 outstanding ballots left out there.”
In this primary, there are still 252 absentee ballots that could be returned by mail. Those ballots may be valid as long as they were postmarked as of Monday, April 27 and are received by May 8. Registered voters can no longer mail in ballots or drop ballots off.
Along with the absentee ballots, there are still 72 provisional ballots that will be counted when the election results are officially certified — which is planned to occur on May 12.
“I do still feel it’s early. There’s a lot of ballots that were mailed later on that can still come in. So, I believe that there’s still time,” said Fleak. “I feel like there was a lot of support. Different people’s talking to me that’s told me they voted for me. That’s really surprised me. I believe that Fayette County really supported me, and I appreciate that very much.”
Anderson explained, “It’s been a long, drawn out affair — difficult with all the other distractions with COVID-19 going on to keep people’s attention on an election. It probably matters a lot more to Mr. Fleak and myself than a lot of other people in the county right now. I appreciate the support I’ve had, and the opportunity I’ve had. Hopefully it’ll stay in my favor and I’ll get another chance to complete some things and see where we go from there. ”
Fayette County had a 21.76 percent voter turnout with 3,535 ballots cast out of 16,242 registered voters, according to the unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMwoods.