Sheila McLaughlin reports
Monday’s recount in the Butler County commission race confirmed political newcomer T.C. Rogers as the Republican candidate for November’s general election.
Rogers, a home builder and real estate agent from West Chester Township, remained 13 votes ahead of Courtney Combs. Rogers had 11,571 votes to Combs’ 11,558.
Earlier this month, Rogers appeared to have defeated two longtime politicos: Combs, a longtime state representative and former county commissioner, and current commissioner Chuck Furmon. Rogers kept his edge last week when absentee and provisional ballots were counted.
The race between Rogers and Combs was so close, the automatic recount was required by law.
But the numbers stayed the same after the 11-hour recount process at the Butler County Board of Elections, Director Lynn Edward Kinkaid said.
Neither Rogers nor Combs could be reached for comment.
Furmon still brought up the rear with 9,392 total votes in the primary race, so he’s out of a job next year.
The votes will be certified today.
Combs also loses his job in Ohio’s Statehouse in January because of term limits. He had hoped to return to Butler County as a commissioner, a job he held for 17 years before heading to Columbus in 2004.
Combs had said earlier that Rogers’ win signaled a change in Republican politics in Butler County.
Rogers subscribes to the tea party movement, and Combs is seen as part of the GOP establishment.
Rogers will face Democratic candidate Jodi Billerman, of Liberty Township, and Libertarian Daryl Olthaus, a registered nurse from Somerville, in the November election.