Finley defeats Hayes in commission race

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

No Democrats on ballot for race in fall

Lawrence County Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Fayette Township Trustee Mike Finley has won the Republican nomination for Lawrence County Commissioner in unofficial returns.

Finley’s victory means a shake-up for three-member body, with incumbent Freddie Hayes Jr., losing his bid for re-election.

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Finley led Hayes in the Republican primary, 33.31 to 23.44 percent, followed by Rome Township Trustee Brian Pinkerman at 21.19 percent, former Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton at 20.01 percent, and Lester Brumfield Jr. at 2.05 percent.

Hayes has served on the commission since 2012.

As no Democrats filed for the commission race, barring a write-in or independent bid, Finley is assured to become the county’s next commissioner and Republicans will keep all three seats on the body.

Finley, a bricklayer, contractor and entrepreneur, will be the second member of his family to hold a countywide office. His daughter, Christen Finley, was elected as Lawrence County Common Pleas judge in 2018.

In other countywide races, incumbent Paul David Knipp was unopposed in the Republican primary and no Democrats filed for that race.