Evans and Book win House races

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 7, 2002

Lawrence Countians are sending both a Republican and a Democrat to the Ohio House of Representatives.

Todd Book, the Democratic candidate in the 89th District of the House of Representatives, and Clyde Evans, the Republican candidate in the 87th District were victorious Tuesday night.

Evans received 17,792 votes (55.71 percent) in the 87th District, which includes eastern Lawrence, Gallia, Jackson, Ross and Vinton counties. Book received 19,058 votes (58.71 percent) in the 89th, which includes western Lawrence, Scioto and Adams Counties.

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A majority of Lawrence County voters supported both Book and Evans. Book received 4,100 votes (52.26 percent) in Lawrence County's 89th District, and Evans received 4,370 votes (59.36 percent) in the 87th.

"It's humbling that so many people have a trust in you," Book said. "I look forward to serving the people in the 89th District."

"We worked for two and a half years to get our message out to the people," Evans said. "I am very grateful to the people of Lawrence County for their confidence and support.

Book, a Scioto County attorney, defeated Republican Harold "Bud" Sayre, a retired educator.

"Evidently, people thought the Book campaign's message was more important," Sayre said. "I thought the margin would be closer. The polling suggested a tossup race."

Book also believed the margin would be closer.

"This morning, I thought it could go either way," he said. "But, I still had a good feeling. People came through for me."

Sayre said he believed his extensive campaigning, especially in Lawrence County, would help.

"We probably knocked on 10,000 doors, especially in Ironton, South Point, and Coal Grove," he said. "We did the best we could do, and it wasn't good enough. That's how it is."

Sayre received 13,402 votes (41.29 percent) in the 89th District, and 3,745 (47.74 percent) of those votes came from Lawrence County.

Evans, executive assistant to the president and director of athletics for Rio Grande University, defeated Democrat Fred Deel, a Gallia County 4-H extension agent.

"The key to our campaign was that I only played one role in it," Evans said. "There were a ton of people involved. The Republican State Central and Executive Committee said we had more volunteers than any campaign in the state."

"We're obviously disappointed," Deel said. "We ran a positive campaign, and we covered the area trying to spread our message with the goals we had hoped to accomplished."

"We congratulate Mr. Evans and wish the district the best," he continued. "It's very important that we move forward now to make a positive change in our community."

Deel received 14,147 votes (44.29 percent) in the 87th District, and 2,992 of those votes (40.64) came from Lawrence County.

Book said some of his first priorities when entering the Statehouse is getting to know the leaders of the Republican party and working with them. However, he said he also wants to be a "watchdog" for residents of the 89th District and let the leaders know their concerns. Working on prescription drug coverage for all Ohioans, not only senior citizens, and providing equal education for the children of southern Ohio are also some of his priorities.

Evans said one of his top priorities are making solid decisions to make Ohio a competitive state when it comes to bringing in new business, which would result in new jobs. With a national economic downturn, doing this would not be easy, he said, but he said he hopes to use good judgment to do the best he can do. Also, he said he wants to conduct open sessions with his constituents.

Evans and Book both expressed a willingness to work together to serve Lawrence County.

"Lawrence County is split, and Clyde knows that we will have to work together for the betterment of the county and for southern Ohio," Book said.

"I want to talk with Todd Book, and meet with him periodically," Evans said. "Some may believe Lawrence County is handicapped because it is split, but the county has two representatives instead of one."