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Local candidate for appeals court falls short

With more than 75 percent of the votes in the 14-county district tallied, Lawrence County native Patricia Sanders Tuesday was in second place in the four-way race for a seat on the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals.

Things looked good for most of the night.

Around 11:30 p.m., Sanders had collected 12,471 votes; Leonard Holtzapfel was ahead by 136 votes. Steve Newman was in third place with 12,370 followed by Lori Hardin in fourth place with 10,878 votes.

But, once the final votes were counted, Sanders had fallen just short, according to results reported by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. The veteran judge Holtzapfel garnered 15,322 votes. Newman had 14,064. Sanders ended with 13,541 votes. Hardin had 12,154.

Sanders, a magistrate in the Lawrence County Juvenile Probate Court, fared well in her home county, collecting 3,812 votes. She took approximately 60 percent of the ballots cast in all 84 Lawrence County precincts. However, she came in second in Athens, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Meigs and Washington counties. She was third in Adams, Pickaway and Ross. Sanders was fourth in Pike, Scioto, Jackson and Vinton counties.

Reflecting on her first attempt at public office, Sanders said, “My eyes have been opened. I have so much respect now for people who run for political office.”

Sanders said she may be willing to seek office again, but said the timing must be right, as it was in this case when appellate Judge Roger Kline announced his retirement.

“I have enjoyed meeting people and I’ve enjoyed traveling,” she said.

Sanders added that, although she is disappointed with the loss, “Whatever happens is in God’s hands and he will put me where he wants me to be.”