Sheila McLaughlin reports:
A Republican newcomer from West Chester Township became the newest Butler County commissioner in preliminary election results with 100 percent of the vote counted, while Sheriff Rick Jones kept his job in a landslide vote.And a countywide issue to provide about half of the $30 million budget to help abused and neglected kids got the nod, 61 percent to 39 percent.
A much needed 7.05-mill additional levy for the debt-ridden Monroe Schools passed 55 percent to 45 percent. The levy, proposed by the state-appointed Financial Planning and Supervision Commission, raises $2.5 million annually. The district is in fiscal emergency and under state control. The district is suing its former treasurer over the financial mess.
In the commission race, T.C. Rogers, a home builder and real estate agent, led the three-way contest through the night against Democrat Jodi Billerman of Liberty Township and Libertarian Daryl Olthaus of Milford Township. Rogers had 61 percent of the vote, while Billerman and Olthaus had 32 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
None of the candidates have held political office before.
All were campaigning on controlling spending and T.C. Rogers promised to create jobs. Butler County faces $1.7 million in cuts in its 2013 budget and has already trimmed about $900,000 to get through the end of this year.
The winner replaces longtime commissioner Chuck Furmon, who was ousted in the primary election in a three-way race with Rogers and state Rep. Courtney Combs. Combs lost his statehouse seat in January to term limits. Rogers beat out Combs by 13 votes in a recount.
A race for another commission seat held by Republican Don Dixon was uncontested.
In the sheriff’s race, Jones, a Republican, was handily beating independent challenger Dale Richter with 81 percent of the vote.
For Richter, a Springboro police officer, it was the third time he went up against Jones since 2004 and was walloped at the ballot box.
Also, locally, Republican Margaret Conditt comfortably won the 52nd District State Representative seat against Branden Rudie (Democrat) and Bob Coogan (Libertarian). Conditt had 66 percent of the vote, while Rudie and Coogan had 27 percent and 7 percent, respectively.