McCown named to election board

Published 10:45 am Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ironton attorney Mark McCown was named a member of the Lawrence County Board of Elections during a meeting Monday night of the Democratic Central Committee.

McCown was voted in unanimously by the 50 Democrats present at the meeting in the courtroom of Common Pleas Judge D. Scott Bowling. He will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Karen Matney Simmons, a Democrat and chairwoman of the board.

Simmons, whose retirement was effective March 31, went on the board on Oct. 12, 1999, and was named chairwoman on Feb. 8, 2000.

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The board, which is made up of two representatives from the two main political parties, supervises and conducts all public elections in the county. It meets once a month. Each of the four members received an annual stipend of $5,760 and health insurance. No current member of the board takes the insurance plan and McCown said he wouldn’t either as a way to help the county save money.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, whatever party has the executive directorship, the other major party will have the chairmanship of the board. That means the Democrats hold the chair post.

McCown has been a practicing attorney in Ironton since 1997 and is a graduate of Georgetown University law school. Recently he served as counsel to the committee in Scioto County that sought the recall of its then mayor Jane Murray.

“I think Mark is very interested in his job,” Craig Allen, vice chair of the board, said. “When people became aware he wanted this job I personally received many personal comments from Republicans and Democrats that they thought he would do a fine job.”

At its next monthly meeting the board will vote on who will be named chair and vice chair.