County races, proposed levy, state races on ballot

By Beth Sergent -

MASON COUNTY — The polls open for in-person voting across Mason County today for the 2020 General Election, joining thousands who have already cast ballots during the early voting period.

According to Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley, 3,146 ballots were cast during early in-person voting which ended on Saturday. In addition, as of early Monday afternoon, 1,767 absentee ballots had been returned to the clerk’s office, out of 1,944 which were requested – this means less than 200 remained unreturned at press time.

All 30 precincts in Mason County will be open today from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Cromley said.

All ballots cast today, including early in-person voting ballots, along with absentee ballots received before the polls closed today, will be included in the unofficial results tabulated on election night. Absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day, if received by the start of Monday’s canvass at 9 a.m. at the Mason County Courthouse, along with provisional ballots, will be added into the final counts on Monday.

Voters have several local county races which will be decided and include:

County Assessor — Incumbent Ron Hickman (D) faces challenger Aimee Duncan (R).

County Commission — Incumbent Rick Handley (D) faces challenger Thomas “Tommy” Mayes (R).

Prosecuting Attorney — Seth Gaskins (R) and Tanya Handley (D) are vying for this office currently held by R.F. Stein,II, who did not file for re-election.

County Sheriff — Three candidates are running to fill the seat currently occupied by Sheriff Greg Powers whose second term comes to an end in January 2021. Those three candidates on the ballot are Robert E. “Rob” Fruth (I), Corey J. Miller (R), Ronnie Spencer (D).

Jonathan Blaine is running unopposed for Surveyor.

Voters across Mason County will also vote on a levy for all fire departments (New Haven, Mason, Point Pleasant, Valley, Leon and Flatrock), Mason County Emergency Ambulance Service and Mason County Public Service District.

The time frame for the levy will be July 1, 2021 through July 1, 2025.

The levy’s ballot language, in part, states, it is “…for the purpose of providing financial support to the New Haven, Mason, Point Pleasant, Valley, Leon and Flatrock Fire Departments in the amount of $104,000 to each department for general funding; Mason County Emergency Ambulance Service in the amount of $104,000 for general funding; and, Mason County Public Service District in the amount of $32,957 for fire hydrant installation and maintenance.”

Also, in the state legislature, voters in Mason County will be voting on a state senator and a delegate from either the 13th or 14th District.

The race for State Senate, Fourth District sees the following three candidates vying for a seat in Charleston currently held by State Sen. Mitch Carmichael: Bruce Ashworth (D), Loyd Butcher (LBN), Amy Nichole Grady (R). Grady defeated Carmichael in the primary.

The race for House of Delegates, 13th District, sees the following four candidates running for two available seats: Scott Brewer (D), David Ray Caldwell (D), incumbent Joshua Kurt Higginbotham (R), Jonathan Adam Pinson (R).

The race for House of Delegates, 14th District, sees Johnnie Wamsley (R) and Chris Yeager (D), running for an open seat in the legislature.

For more on the state and national races, see adjacent story in this edition and online at

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Beth Sergent