Tiffany Ridgeway and Jon Hensler were the big winners in Tuesday's Republican primary election in Jackson County while both major tax issues on the ballot were both defeated.
In a three-way contest for the Republican nomination for county auditor, Ridgeway was a runaway winner against Jim Milliken of Coalton and Chris Dupree of Wellston. Ridgeway, a Scioto Township resident who currently serves as deputy county auditor, won about two-thirds of the total vote, racking up 2,605 votes. Milliken was a distant second with 1,005 votes and Dupree was third with 255 votes.
Ridgeway was essentially elected auditor in the primary as there is no Democratic or independent candidate to oppose her in November's general election. Ridgeway would replace the man she is currently working under, Republican incumbent Clyde Holdren, who is retiring and did not seek re-election.
In a hotly contested race for the Republican nomination for one of the three county commissioner positions, Hensler, a current Jackson city councilman, posted a clear victory over Jackson-based businessman and former Jackson City Board of Education member Randy Evans. Hensler claimed 60 percent of the vote as he collected 2,315 votes to 1,536 for Evans.
Hensler will have another contest in November's general election as Jackson City Councilman Ron Queen has filed petitions to run as an independent candidate for commissioner. There is no Democratic candidate. They both are seeking the seat currently held by Republican Jerry Hall, who opted not to run for re-election, but who did publicly endorse Hensler.
There were two major tax issues on the ballot -- a new 1.5 mill countywide levy to support the children's foster-care program provided through the Jackson County Department of Job and Family Services, and a new 1 percent city income tax to provide funding for the Jackson Police Department.
The foster-care levy, which also was defeated in last November's general election, came closer this time around, but still was a loser as it gained 48.3 percent of the vote after winning 46 percent in the previous election. The actual vote was 2,304 votes for the levy and 2,462 against.
Meanwhile, the proposed income tax in Jackson failed by a much greater margin, but still gained approval of almost 42 percent of the voters although there was no organized campaign to pass it. The final vote totals were 486 votes for the income tax and 679 against it.
Voters in Jackson City Precinct 1A also approved two related liquor options involving alcohol sales at Clark's Pump N Shop convenience store on Twin Oaks Drive. The option to permit the sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages Monday through Saturday passed easily 248 to 153. The second option to permit the sale of wine and mixed beverages on Sunday between the hours of 1 p.m. and midnight passed by a closer vote of 223 to 181.
For a more in-depth story, check out Saturday's print edition of The Telegram.