Low turnout in primary election

By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com

Voters in Portsmouth and New Boston did not turn out in large numbers. When the smoke cleared, only 6.65 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election.

Kevin W. Johnson and Sean Dunne will go head to head in November to see who will be the first Ward Portsmouth City Councilman. The two garnered the most votes in the First Ward in Tuesday’s primary election. In the only other Portsmouth Ward up for election Kevin E. Johnson and Jerry Skiver came away with the most votes and will compete for the Third Ward seat in November as well. The final numbers showed Kevin W. Johnson with 73 votes and Dunne with 56 votes in the First Ward. Kevin E. Johnson received 98 votes while Skiver had 97 votes in the Third Ward race. Robert E. Gambill came in third place with 95 votes, pending the counting of the provisionals. The board says two provisionals remain to be counted in the Third Ward, while a vote that stuck in the machine also has to be rescanned.

New Boston voters have two at-large seats up for election in November, and Johnny Whisman and Ryan Ottney came away with the most votes and will battle for the two seats available in the general election in November. Whisman had 117 votes, while Ottney received 65 votes.

It would appear on the surface that the two would automatically win the seats, but there is a technicality that means there has to be one more step taken.

“They’re nominated because this is a primary for New Boston,” Scioto County Board of Elections Director Julia Gearheart said. “There could have been Republicans that filed, and no Republican’s petitions were allotted. That’s why there’s no Republican ballot. There could have been five Republicans that filed this time also, so there would have been a Republican and a Democrat, and we would have you nominate two Republicans and two Democrats, but since there was not a Republican who filed, they just nominated two Democrats to go on to November.”

Gearheart said the reason they have to run in November is that there is still a chance that one could decide to drop out, or someone could choose to run as a write-in candidate in the general election.

Portsmouth voters also passed a Charter amendment, which will now allow members of the Portsmouth Police Department to work 12 hour shifts if needed to do so. Currently, by Charter, the police officers can only work eight hour shifts. The amendment passed 467 to 176.

By Frank Lewis


Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.