5/11/2018 4:08:00 PM It's Wellman by a nose Clinton Township trustee wins commissioner nod
By Pete Wilson & Red Thompson, Jr. Telegram Staff
In what turned out to be a very close three-way race for the Republican nomination for Vinton County commissioner, Clinton Township trustee William Wellman barely nosed out the current commissioner, Jim Satory, as well as challenger Jeremiah Jones in Tuesday's primary election.
Only a total of 41 votes separated the three candidates. Wellman emerged as the winner with 364 votes; with Satory just 13 votes behind in second place, with 351 votes. Jones was a very close third with 323 votes. The margin of difference is not great enough to force an automatic recount and there may not be enough uncounted provisional votes to change the outcome.
Satory was appointed by the Vinton County Republican Committee last year to replace Mike Bledsoe who resigned shortly after being re-elected. Satory will remain in office through the end of the year. In January, he will have to give up his seat to the winner of November's general election contest between Wellman and Democratic candidate Mark Anthony Walker. That winner will serve the remainder of the term which runs through 2020.
"I would like to thank voters for their support," Wellman said in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Telegram. "I am looking forward to a clean race with Tony Walker." He noted his experience in working with a small budget at the township level would aid him as a county commissioner.
If elected, Wellman indicated that economic development tied to bringing more jobs to the county and boosting local tourism would gain his attention and support.
He agreed that the commissioners should continue to look into the feasibility of opening a women's jail and working to attract a motel to the county.
"I am for jobs and progress," Wellman stated. "The growth in West McArthur is good and I believe it will continue. However, we need to market the entire county." He explained this includes Zaleski, for tourism-related businesses and the property situated along the Appalachian Highway for travel-related businesses.
Three other county-level elected offices are on the election block this year, but only one involved a contest in the primary election. However, there is a contest for a different commissioner's seat in the offing in November's election, as Republican incumbent Commissioner Tim Eberts is being challenged by Democrat Nick Rupert for a full term. Neither were opposed in the primary.
Meanwhile, Republican incumbent Auditor Cindy Waugh is unopposed for a full term and Republican Engineer, Roy DePue, is unopposed in his candidacy to complete the unexpired term which runs through 2020. DePue was previously appointed by the Vinton County Republican Committee to replace Ron Sharrett who retired. There are no Democratic or independent candidates for either auditor or engineer, which means Waugh and DePue face no further electoral opposition in November's election.
There were only two tax issues on the primary-election ballot in Vinton County and both were in Jackson Township. Voters there approved a 1-mill replacement levy for fire and EMS services by a vote of 77 to 19 and also a 1-mill renewal levy for cemeteries by a 71-24 vote.