McDaniels winner of Upper Township race

Published 2:59 pm Monday, November 30, 2009

It came down to the toss of a JFK half-dollar that made Michael McDaniels the victor in his challenge of veteran officeholder Don Klaiber for Upper Township Trustee.

McDaniels, an Ironton Realtor, will now serve with top vote getter Robert Ackerman after a recount Monday afternoon came back with the same results as the certified election results.

On election night Klaiber took the second of two openings on the board beating McDaniels by two votes. However a count of the provisional and absentee ballots last week put Klaiber and McDaniels tied at 1,271.

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That triggered an automatic recount for that race along with the races for Rome Township Trustee, Hamilton Township Trustee, South Point Board of Education and Ironton City Council.

However, before a recount can be done, a winner must be declared, according to the Ohio secretary of state. That was decided when McDaniels won the coin toss at the Board of Election headquarters before Monday’s recount.

If the recount came back with tie results, the winner of the coin toss would be the winner of the race. After a two-hour recount of 314 ballots, or five percent of the total ballots cast in the Nov. 3 race, matched the original tally, McDaniels was declared the victor.

“I am very pleased with the turnout,” McDaniels said. “It was a good race.”

However, a representative for Klaiber asked that the board get a ruling from the secretary of state on whether there can be another recount from precincts where there were overvotes. Cathy Overbeck, director of the board of elections, was going to determine if another recount would be permissible.