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Payne ousted by Weigle

November 7, 2012

LISBON - The county will have one new commissioner and a new state representative in January.

Republican Tim Weigle, who currently serves as Unity Township trustee, ousted Democratic incumbent John Payne and beat out Independent John Wargo with 48 percent of the vote.

The three-way race was split mostly between Payne and Weigle who shared most of the votes, and Wargo, a former Democrat, finished with 14 percent, according to complete but unofficial results Tuesday night.

Payne has served as commissioner since January, when he replaced Penny Traina who stepped down to take a job in the private sector. Wargo, a former commissioner and state representative, was a registered Democrat until this year, and the party change may have influenced his results at the polls.

Weigle's public service dates back 22 years, when he was first elected township trustee, and he is

a current member of the county Port Authority.

He has said he wants to bring a "business mind set" to the board of commissioners, ensure the shale gas boom is managed in a way to protect the public's health and safety, and work with the county sheriff to combat the county's drug problem.

While voters favored the Republican candidate in the commissioner race, they turned toward the Democrat for state representative, with Nick Barborak chosen to replace Craig Newbold.

The race was tight most of the evening, with Barborak at 51 percent and Newbold at 50 percent shortly before 10 p.m.

Once final results were in, the incumbent from Columbiana seeking a second term was defeated by Barborak by a less than a 1 percent margin.

Barborak earned 50.4 percent, with Newbold earning 49.5 percent of the vote.

Barborak is currently county treasurer, a position he has held since 2007. He has said that as state representative he will focus on building the local infrastructure, which happens through improving the condition of county roads and making wireless Internet access available.

Although he and Newbold shared a passion for non-partisanship, they differed on the state's projected deficit (Newbold said it was at $8 billion while Barborak said it wasn't as high as that). The two also sparred on more than one occasion in public forums, and even exposed each other for paying late taxes.

Barborak has also said "the No. 1 issue is jobs and loss of jobs" and that he is in favor of granting tax credits to local businesses willing to create jobs. A stipulation would be that if no job creation occurs, the credits are given back.

Republicans were also favored in the second commissioner race and for county sheriff, with Jim Hoppel and Ray Stone retaining their positions.

Hoppel will begin his fifth consecutive term in January after earning 55 percent of the vote against Democrat Joe Csonka, who has not previously run for a county office. He has served as Center Township trustee since 2004.

Hoppel has said he would like to see at least two new deputies on the county sheriff roster, and that he would reinstate the county economic development director position, which was eliminated in the early 2000s as a cost-cutting move.

Stone has served as county sheriff a little more than four years and beat Democrat John Soldano, who has ran for the office four times.

Stone was chosen over Soldano by 55 percent of the vote. Some of his prior achievements include purchasing bullet proof vests for deputies with grant funding, replacing old handguns with new at no cost, and securing a $47,900 grant for new laptops and a service to run driver's licenses for warrant checks to be installed in the cars.

Linda Bolon will be returning to her former position as county treasurer, after winning over Republican Eldena Gearhart who is currently a Middleton Township trustee.

A Democrat, Bolon was treasurer from 2000 to 2006 before being elected state representative. After two terms she lost the representative position to Craig Newbold in 2010.

She previously said that she wanted to come back to the county because she believes Democrats will remain in the minority in the state legislature for the near future and she dislikes not being able to get things done.

Her past experience as treasurer resulted in the updating of the office computer system and streamlining other operations.

She earned 56 percent of the vote, while Gearhart took 44 percent.

A Democrat who beat incumbent Craig Brown in the March primary election, Brenda Dickey Myers will not be the county's next recorder.

Republican Theresa Bosel will take the position held by Brown since 2004. She won the election by earning 51 percent of the vote. It was her first run for county office, and Dickey Myers' second run. The Democrat ran for county commissioner in 2008 but was defeated.

Bosel has said she wants to bring more efficiency to the office and address the high amount of traffic there. She also wants to help foster a relationship with Chesapeake Energy to see the oil and gas boom benefits realized locally.

She has most recently worked as director of marketing and public relations at The Orchards of Foxcrest in Chester. She currently helps her husband operate a wood-cutting business.



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