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Candidates file for 2020 races: Commission seats, auditor, treasurer among offices up in election

With the new year comes another political campaign season and the 2020 election looks to be a busy one.

Ohio will likely be a battleground state once again in the presidential election and, statewide, voters will be choosing two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court.

And in Lawrence County, several offices and a funding levy for Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities are on the ballot.

Last week, the board of elections released the list of candidates who filed before the deadline earlier this month.

In the county treasurer’s race, incumbent Steven Dale Burcham is unopposed in the Democratic primary, while, on the Republican side, two candidates have filed — Tresa Baker and Cole Webb, who currently serves as a Union Township trustee.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless is unopposed in the Republican primary, while Joe Ross, who currently serves as Ironton’s police detective/captain, has filed in the Democratic primary for the office.

There are two Lawrence County Commission seats on the ballot.

Incumbent Colton Copley has filed in the Republican primary. He was appointed in 2018 to serve the remaining years on the term of Bill Pratt, who died in December of 2018. This will be his first election for a full term. Running against him in the Republican primary is Brian Pinkerman. No Democrats filed for the seat.

Incumbent DeAnna Holliday has filed in the Republican primary. Holliday, who was first elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched her registration to the Republican Party earlier this year. Running against her in the Republican primary is Shawn Hacker. While, on the Democratic side, Jeffrey Blakeman has filed as a candidate.

The Lawrence County Auditor’s race has drawn several candidates, following the resignation of Jason Stephens, who took the position of state representative for the 93rd district.

Incumbent Republican Paul David Knipp has filed to run for the seat. Knipp was appointed to the seat earlier this year and has to run to serve the remaining years of Stephens’ term, which ends in 2023.

Running against Knipp in the primary are businesswoman Vallery Dyer and former Lawrence County Commissioner Les Boggs.

On the Democratic side, Jason Tolliver, who ran against Stephens in 2018, is making another bid for the office.

In the race for the 93rd district seat, Stephens has filed in the Republican primary and is being challenged by Jeff Halley, a Gallia County politician. Stephens was appointed earlier this year to the seat vacated by Ryan Smith when he left to take the position of president of the University of Rio Grande. Smith’s term was set to expire at the end of 2020 and Halley was running for the office, along with Bobbi Montgomery, who has since withdrawn her candidacy. 

Several offices are unchallenged on the ballot, with Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson, Clerk of Courts Mike Patterson, Recorder Sharon Gossett Hager, Coroner Ben Mack, Engineer Patrick Leighty, Common Pleas Judge Andrew Ballard and Common Pleas Probate Juvenile Judge Patricia Sanders unopposed for re-election.