For first time, Pike has three commissioners
Evans noses ahead in sheriff’s race with provisional ballots remaining
By RICK GREENE
Southern Ohio Today
WAVERLY – For the first time in Pike County history, the three seats of the Board of Commissioners will be filled by Republicans.
Incumbent Tony Montgomery soundly defeated challenger Chase Brown and Jeff Chattin defeated Democrat Victor Brushart in a battle for the seat that will be vacated by retiring Democrat Blaine Beekman. Montgomery and Chattin join Republican Jerry Miller, who was not on the ballot.
Montgomery said the historic occurrence was made possible by a trio of factors, including Republican candidates being buoyed by the county’s support of President Trump. Trump garnered a whopping 73 percent of the vote in Pike County, up front 66 percent in his 2016 performance against Hillary Clinton.
“I think there’s three key things,” said Montgomery, the county’s largest vote getter in a contested race who gathered 7,506 votes to Brown’s 4,156. ”Certainly, the Trump effect, but also that the local Republican party has put up good candidates, and that they have been candidates who have been willing to work.”
Pike County had 12,183 total votes from the county’s 18,120 registered voters. Chattin grabbed 7,418 votes to Brushart’s 4,241 and joined Montgomery in getting about 64 percent of the vote.
“I spoke with Vic Brushart, we both ran clean campaigns and I’m proud of that,” Chattin said. “I want to thank my family and friends and the family of Tony Montgomery. This has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to getting to work for the people of Pike County.”
In a virtual dead heat, Tracy Evans nosed Jim Nelson in the county sheriff’s race by a mere 159 votes. However, 363 provisional ballots remain and the official outcome will depend on those results. Pike County is expected to certify its election by Nov. 16.
Evans said that if he holds on to win, the close nature of the race means he will have some work to do to gain the confidence of county residents.
“I’ve always said that signs don’t elect a candidate. I think going out, knocking on doors and talking to people helped our campaign,” said Evans, who collected 5,542 votes to Nelson’s 5,383. “This was a clean race and I have a lot of respect for Jim Nelson. This close margin shows that I would still have a lot to prove to the people of Pike County.”
Paul Price was a clear winner in the race for Probate Juvenile judge. He had 7,202 votes to Joseph Motes’ 3,212.
Price said a network of supporters helped push him to victory.
“No race is ever won by any one person. It takes a bunch of people who contribute time and energy,” Price said. “It’s all about the families and the children of Pike County. We have so many teachers, administrators, coaches, youth leaders, the YMCA and others, and it’s all about working with all those people to help Pike County children.”
Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk, Clerk of Courts Justin Brewster, Recorder Misty Brewster, Treasurer Don Davis, and Engineer Denny Salisbury were all elected after going unopposed.
Four levies were on the ballot in Pike County and all passed. They were police levies for the Village of Piketon, the Village of Beaver and Pee Pee Township and a fire department levy for Seal Township. The Wayside First Stop local option failed 416 to 384.