Pratt, Hayes win commission seats
IRONTON — Lawrence County Commissioners Bill Pratt and Freddie Hayes Jr., both Republicans, won their races for two county commissioner seats with all 84 precincts reporting, according to unofficial totals Tuesday from the Lawrence County Courthouse.
Commissioner Les Boggs, a Republican, was unopposed in his bid for another four-year term as commissioner.
Pratt, who was seeking his first four-year-term on the board, defeated Carl Robinson, a Democrat, by a total of 13,152 to 10,812. Pratt was appointed last year to the board to replace Jason Stephens, who was elected Lawrence County auditor.
In the other race, Hayes Jr., who was seeking the remaining two years on the seat initially held by the late Paul Herrell, held a narrow lead against former Commissioner Doug Malone, a Democrat. Hayes finished with 12,101 votes while Malone finished with 11,816.
Malone, who has twice been elected commissioner, lost a bid for a third term as commissioner two years ago.
However, there were 720 provisional ballots that could be counted in about 10 days, according to election officials. Under Ohio law, the provisional ballots can’t be counted until 10 days after the election. There also are an undetermined amount of overseas ballots that could be counted when the votes are recounted.
Boggs, Pratt and Hayes all are Republicans. However, since Pratt and Hayes were appointed to the board, this was their first try for a countywide elected office.
“I feel confident the lead will hold up,” Hayes said after the totals were announced. “We’ll move forward. We have to work on the (overcrowded) jail. We need to get our state representative and go to Columbus. I also anticipate a tough budget year next year.”
Pratt agreed that it will be a tough budget year next year.
“Keeping the sheriff with the funding he needs to do the job is the top priority,” Pratt said.
In the other contested countywide race, County Treasurer Steve Burcham, a Democrat, held a 686-vote lead with all 84 precincts reporting against Jerry Rowe, a Republican. Burcham is seeking his third, four-year term as county treasurer. Burcham finished with 12,686 votes while Rowe had 12,000.
A number of countywide races were unopposed Tuesday.
They include: Brigham Anderson as prosecutor, Jeff Lawless as sheriff, Doug Cade as county engineer, Sharon Gossett Hager as county recorder and Kurt Hofmann as county coroner. Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles “Chuck” Cooper also was unopposed for another term as judge.