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Winners named in five competitive races for night

Holliday, Copley win commission nominations; Baker for Treasurer; Knipp for auditor; Stephens for representative; Democrats were unopposed in primary

On Tuesday, the Lawrence County Board of Elections released the results of the county’s first nearly all-mail election.

Ohio’s primary had originally been set for March, before being moved due restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

While turnout in a presidential year is always up, the nominations for this year’s primaries have already been decided, with Republicans choosing incumbent President Donald Trump and the Democrats’ presumptive nominee being former vice president Joe Biden.

Both easily won their races in Ohio tonight, facing only minor opposition and having all competitors suspending campaigns or dropping out.

In local offices, there were five competitive races, all on the Republican side of the ballot. All other candidates ran unopposed.

Lawrence County Commission

In the race for Lawrence County Commission, incumbents DeAnna Holliday and Colton Copley were both up for voters.

Incumbent Commission President DeAnna Holliday easily won reelection over challenger Shawn Hacker, 60 to 36 percent.

First elected as a Democrat in 2016, Holliday switched to the Republican Party last year.

She will face Democrat Jeff Blakeman in the fall.

Holliday said she was “humbly elated by the numbers tonight and eager to continue the work we’re doing for Lawrence County.”

“I know that we have a bright future and I’m happy with each and every supporter. I saw this as my job performance review and I’m happy they saw the work ethic in me.”

In the second commission seat on the ballot, incumbent Colton Copley was challenged by businessman Brian Pinkerman.

Copley won narrowly over Pinkerman, 48 to 46 percent, with 6 percent in undervotes.

Copley was chosen by the county Republican Party in 2018 to fill the remaining term of the late Bill Pratt. Copley, a former member of the South Point school board, had previously ran unsuccessfully for commission against Freddie Hayes Jr. in that year’s Republican primary.

No Democrat has filed for the seat, meaning that, unless a third party candidate files, Copley will be unopposed in the fall and be elected to a full term.

Copley said he was “beyond blessed” by the result.

“I’m sitting at home with my wife and kids and we’re excited and happy with the support we received and people taking the time to send in their ballots in this unprecedented circumstance,” he said.

Copley said he felt for his opponent who “ran a great race” and said he was glad to get to know him.

“I was in a similar situation last time,” he said. “I think he’ll be around in politics and, hopefully, we’ll get to work together on some projects.”

Lawrence County Treasurer

In the Lawrence County treasurer’s race, Tresa Baker, the treasurer for the South Point school board, was running against Union Township Trustee Cole Webb.

Baker won over Webb, 54 to 34 percent, with 12 percent in undervotes.

She will face incumbent treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham, a Democrat, in the fall.

Lawrence County Auditor

In the Lawrence County Auditor’s race, incumbent Paul David Knipp was up for election, running against former county commissioner Les Boggs and businesswoman Vallery Dyer.

Knipp won, receiving 43 percent of the vote to 33 percent for Boggs and 22 percent for Dyer.

Knipp, a former member of the Rock Hill School Board, was appointed to the office last year by the Lawrence County Republican Party after Jason Stephens vacated the position to become state representative for the 93rd District.

He will face Democrat Jason Tolliver in the fall.

Ohio Representative – 93rd District

Stephens was on the ballot himself, facing Jeff Halley, a board of education member from Gallia County who has served in multiple offices.

Stephens won overwhelmingly over Halley, 78 to 18 percent. No Democrat has filed for the fall.

Stephens was chosen by the state Republican Party to serve the fill the seat vacated by Ryan Smith, who left office to become president of The University of Rio Grande last year.

The fall will bring one more competitive race to voters, with incumbent Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless facing off against Democrat Joe Ross, a detective and captain with the Ironton Police Department.

Both Lawless and Ross were unopposed in their parties’ primaries.

— Full totals of all races will be printed in this weekend’s Ironton Tribune.