Republicans sweep Delaware County races

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Joshua A. Bickel/ThisWeekNEWS
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Concord Township Hall in Powell on Nov. 6. Lines were long in most places in Delaware County but they moved fairly fast.

It was a clean sweep for Republicans in Delaware County races on Election Day, including wins for both GOP commissioner candidates and the two new Ohio House districts that cover the county.


Republican Gary Merrell won out over Democrat John Hartman for the four-year term on the board of commissioners starting Jan. 2.

According to unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections, Merrell earned 48,453 votes, or 64 percent, to Hartman’s 26,683 votes, representing 36 percent.

Merrell said his business experience gave him an edge in the race.

“That experience is what we need in this county,” he said. “I think people are excited about change and I’m looking forward to doing what’s best for this county in the short-term and the long-term.”

Merrell, 63, lives in Liberty Township.

Incumbent Republican Ken O’Brien will keep his seat on the board of commissioners after beating Democratic write-in challenger Richard Bird for a four-year term starting Jan. 3.

In unofficial results from Delaware County, O’Brien earned 49,675 votes, or 66 percent, to Bird’s 25,739 votes, representing 34 percent.

O’Brien, 52, lives in Berlin Township.

67th House District

Incumbent Republican Andrew Brenner held his seat against Democratic challenger David Hogan to represent the new 67th Ohio House District, which covers the west side of Delaware County.

In unofficial results, Brenner earned 31,385 votes, or 62 percent, to Hogan’s 19,315 votes, representing 38 percent.

Brenner, 41, was voted into the office in 2010 and narrowly defeated Craig Schweitzer on this year’s primary ballot. He previously served as Delaware County recorder. He lives in Powell.

68th House District

Republican Margaret Ann Ruhl will get a second term, beating Democrat John Ryerson to represent the new 68th Ohio House District.

In unofficial results, Ruhl earned 19,448 votes, or 67 percent, to Ryerson’s 9,764 votes, representing 33 percent.

Ruhl, 56, was elected to the office in 2008 and handily beat challengers Jason Rogers and Jeff Furr on this year’s primary ballot. She previously worked as auditor for the city of Mount Vernon for 11 years. She lives in Mount Vernon. The new 68th District covers Knox County in addition to the eastern half of Delaware County.

County recorder

In the closest county race of the night, incumbent Republican Melissa Jordan beat Democrat Rick Beer for the Delaware County recorder’s job.

According to unofficial results, Jordan earned 52,625 votes, or 62 percent, to Beer’s 32,528 votes, representing 38 percent.

Jordan was appointed to the post by the Delaware County Republican Central Committee in January 2011 after former Recorder Andrew Brenner was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. Jordan lives in Ostrander.