PORTSMOUTH — By less than 250 votes, David Thoroughman edged out Scioto County Sheriff’s Office Captain John W. Murphy for the office of Scioto County Sheriff Tuesday night.
Thoroughman, who was the Shawnee State University Director of Public Safety, ran against Murphy during an election season unlike any other, including an election that was scheduled to take place and at last minute postponed to April 28 with mail-in ballots only.
“I’m very thankful, shows that the hard work did pay off,” Thoroughman, the new Sheriff-elect, said Wednesday. “Sticking to what I’m going to do for the county, the residents. Going on experience, it’s running a clean campaign, and it just shows that it pays off. I believe it’s very important that we never mislead or lie to the citizens that we’re sworn to protect and serve.”
Tuesday’s results from the Ohio primary election were released to the public following the delay of the originally scheduled March 17 primary. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of Ohio’s stay-at-home order, Scioto Countians cast their ballots via absentee mail-in format for this year’s primary.
Unofficially, Thoroughman collected 3,777 votes to Murphy’s 3,531 for a total of 7,308 votes cast by Scioto County citizens in the Sheriff’s race.
Thoroughman said now that he’d been elected, he’ll put together his transition team to follow in the footsteps of current Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini.
“I’ll be getting a transition team together to ensure that we have a smooth transition with the current Sheriff’s office, praying that Sheriff Donini will work with me to ensure this happens,” Thoroughman said.
One of the first steps Thoroughman hopes to take in his new role as sheriff is to host community roundtable discussions with each township in Scioto County to help best discuss the needs of the different communities and prevent disconnect from the people and law enforcement.
“It’s been one my goals through the campaign that when I’m sheriff, I would like to have community roundtables because I believe it’s important we hear from the community that we serve,” Thoroughman said. “I want to hear what needs and what concerns they have so that I can start working toward taking care of those. Each township is going to have its’ own concerns. I believe it’s important to go to every township to hear those concerns.”
Thoroughman also stated that while serving Scioto County as its’ Sheriff, he hopes to help tackle the drug epidemic, which has severely impacted most of the region. To do so, Thoroughman plans to work with other local and state-level law enforcement agencies to help combat the problem at its’ core.
“I’m really looking forward to tackling the drug epidemic that we have,” Thoroughman said. “I’ve indicated in the last 10 years, our drug overdose calls have increased 667%, our overdose deaths from 2011-18 was up 96%, and nothing has been done on that. We’ll be working very closely with the other law enforcement agencies, the courts, the prosecutor’s office and others to tackle this problem. It’s going to take a collaborative effort to tackle this, and I’m very excited and have always been willing to work with others for any issues that the community has.”
Despite the narrow margin of victory in the highly anticipated law enforcement race, Thoroughman strongly committed to helping serve Scioto County and its’ citizens to his fullest extent.
“I want to thank everybody in the entire community for their support for their vote. I will be working hard for the entire community to make sure that we have a safer, stronger community.”
The Daily Times attempted to reach out to Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree several times on Wednesday but did not receive a response by press time.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved