Crowds gather at courthouse, candidate eventsPublished 3:39am Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The polls had been closed about an hour Tuesday night, but election results were slow to come in.
However, Linda Herrell proved to be a seer as she sat at a table at the Elks Club at the party county commission candidate Freddie Hayes was hosting.
“I think we have a winner here,” Herrell said as she nodded to Hayes.
Hayes was appointed to the Lawrence County Commission when Herrell’s husband, the late Paul Herrell, died in February 2012.
“Paul would be happy,” Linda Herrell said about the idea of a Hayes’ victory.
His supporters and members of the Republican Party including Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless and former board of elections member Bob Griffith packed the Elks as Hayes’ wife, Bethany, greeted the guests.
“I am very nervous and excited,” she said. “I hope that my husband’s dream comes true.”
Out front of the Elks Club the 2006 white Chrysler of Duke Sheridan was parked with a sound system blaring out John Phillip Sousa marches, a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and a reading of the preamble of the Constitution.
Across the street precinct workers hauled in ballot boxes to the board of elections office while on the second floor of the courthouse, the results were projected onto a wall, updated every few minutes as more precincts came in.
Unlike earlier elections when onlookers crowded around the first floor board office, the action was upstairs as candidates and their families kept tabs on the updates.
Nearby Ohio University Southern communications professor Dave Lucas held court interviewing candidates, officeholders and members of the media for a show on OUS television.
Watching the early results come in was Lawrence County Commission President Les Boggs.
“I am certainly glad this campaign is over,” Boggs said. “It has been a tough one. There were a lot of great candidates on both sides of the aisle. I look for all of the races to be close.”
And for the most part Boggs’ prediction came true.