Republican Mike Kiger defeated Democrat George C. Hallarn Tuesday to win a third term as Fairfield County commissioner.

Republican Mike Kiger defeated Democrat George C. Hallarn Tuesday to win a third term as Fairfield County commissioner.

Unofficial final results from the Fairfield County Board of Elections Tuesday night showed Kiger defeated Hallarn by 32,139 votes to 15,109 votes, or 68.02 percent to 31.98 percent, with all 110 precincts reporting.

Kiger, 59, won his first term in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006.

He said being re-elected to a third term means he can use his experience and knowledge to continue to do what's needed for the county.

"First, I want to thank everybody for your vote and confidence in me. I have good supporters and I thank all of them. They've been good through this whole thing," Kiger said. "The longer you're here, things like the budget come much easier instead of when I was still trying to learn."

He said he wants to keep government spending in line with revenues without increasing taxes; maintain public services at an acceptable level in line with available revenues; create a government climate that is supportive of existing businesses in the county; and encourage growth and formation of new businesses and industry.

In addition, he said, a new jail will need to be built in or near Lancaster at some point.

"It's a money issue, basically, and with the economy the way it is, there's no way I can ask anybody to pass a levy," Kiger said. "It's just not a good time and I understand that, but it doesn't mean I can't keep my eyes and ears open for government grants and other things available through the state and federal level."

Kiger said he also wants to make government more transparent where people can see him and talk to him and keep the budget balanced.

"We have to have a balanced budget at the end of the year, and try to keep our spending in line with revenues without increasing taxes," he said.

Kiger is a 1969 graduate of Lancaster High School and attended college for two years at Ohio University's Lancaster branch. He spent 14 years as a Lancaster firefighter and paramedic, earning the rank of captain before retiring in 1987. He then sold rehabilitation equipment throughout Ohio until 1996.