PORTSMOUTH — Local political leaders made a final push to Scioto County voters for their support of their local Republican candidates and President Donald Trump Saturday afternoon at Tracy Park.
At the event hosted by the Scioto County Young Republicans, County Sheriff-elect David Thoroughman alongside Commissioner Mike Crabtree, Ohio 4th District Court of Appeals Judge Kristy Wilkin, and Ohio Rep. Brian Baldridge delivered speeches.
Thoroughman spoke first and announced his plans to restart the county’s K-9 program and a local drug task force, where the Sheriff’s office would work in concert with the Portsmouth Police Department while continuing its partnership with the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force.
“They are very good at detecting drugs, going after criminals that have fled from law enforcement,” said Thoroughman, who defeated John Murphy in the April primary, of the canines.
Additionally, Thoroughman wants to hear more from the community so a better understanding of what the issues are can be formulated. This will look different township-to-township, but Thoroughman said it will be very helpful in the future.
“Once we figure out what the problems are, we can bring in everyone who has a piece of the pie to the table, so we can work on the problems as a team,” said Thoroughman.
Wilkin, recently appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine in July, spoke of her brief time already serving in the role where she replaced Judge Matthew McFarland, who is now judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
She has heard cases ranging from a Vinton County man on death row for 10 years filing a mistrial to spousal support and criminal cases in her three months. She is running against Stacy Brooks for the seat.
“I am the conservative candidate,” said Wilkin, whose name, like all judges. will not have a party affiliation on the ballot and cannot endorse any candidate. “I am going to conserve my powers, those powers that have been allocated to me by the Constitution. I believe in the Constitution, your Second Amendment rights, and I will ensure that they are protected.”
Baldridge, who is running unopposed in the Ohio House District 90 race, served as the event’s keynote speaker. There he emphasized his work in protecting small businesses and public entities in the face of the coronavirus along with pledging support for his fellow GOP candidates.
“We have to make sure that our friends, neighbors, everybody gets out to vote,” said Baldridge, with the election just three days away. “There are many ways to do that, but the key is making sure our message is heard and people turn out to vote.
Starting in January, the Scioto County Young Republicans have about 30 members and have led volunteer works such as the revitalization of the Portsmouth hedges around Route 52. All candidates heaped praise on the newly established group during the event.
“I am confident that President Trump will not only win Scioto County but win Ohio,” said Colin Finn, Chairman and Founder of the Young Republicans in front of a crowd of around 30. “I think we will have the largest margin of victory for a candidate in Scioto County history.”
Trump carried the county in 2016, taking 66% of the vote and more than double of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s votes. This comes after Mitt Romney snuck out a one-point victory over President Barack Obama in 2012, ultimately losing in Ohio and nationally.
While Trump is expected to win the county handily, having more than 4,500 votes than Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the primary, the state is more of a toss-up.
In the latest Quinnipiac University poll, 48% of the 1,186 likely voters surveyed in Ohio favored Biden compared to 43% for Trump. On the Oct. 14 poll, Biden received 48% and Trump had 47%.
Released on the same day, however, Gravis Marketing found that 49% of the 613 likely voters plan on voting for Trump and 47% for Biden.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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