Holmes commissioner race results intriguing by jurisdiction

Holmes commissioner race results intriguing by jurisdiction
Dave Mast

In a spirited race for two Holmes County commissioner seats, the Holmes County Board of Elections recently posted the final results and the breakdown of all the voting precincts.


Breaking down Holmes County’s commissioner race by polling jurisdictions fleshes out some intriguing final numbers in a pair of aces that were tightly contested in a fashion that hasn’t been seen for many years.

The official numbers are in on the recent race for the two seats at the Holmes County Board of Commissioners table, and with all of the votes officially counted, the Holmes County Board of Elections released the township-by-township votes.

With the results of all 17 townships recorded, Holmes County saw 4,352 voters turned out to vote out of a possible 17,763 registered voters, many of whom were either Independent or Libertarian party registrants who would have had to register as a Republican for this primary in order to vote for the entirely Republican Party candidate list of seven hopefuls.

In the race for incumbent Joe D. Miller’s seat, Miller captured just seven of the townships while challenger Ervin D. Yoder won 10 of the county’s township races.

However, Miller’s dominance in the eastern townships in the county helped propel him to victory with 1,813 votes while Yoder was close behind with 1,705 votes.

Yoder’s top township was in Killbuck Township, where he claimed 62.32% of the votes while he also captured Hardy, jurisdictions of Millersburg East and Millersburg West, along with Prairie, Knox, Monroe, Paint, Richland and Ripley townships.

Miller received the most votes in the jurisdictions of Berlin North, Berlin South, and the townships of Clark, Saltcreek, Walnut Creek and Washington.

His largest winning polling site came in Clark and Berlin North, where he received right around 73% in each.

A total of 3,518 votes were cast for this race.

In the fight for the seat of commissioner Ray Eyler, who will retire after this year’s term is complete, the numbers were evenly spread among candidates David Crilow, Holley Johnson, Steve Johnson, Dustin Kaufman and eventual winner Eric D. Strouse.

Strouse earned 925 votes, narrowly edging out Crilow (861 votes). Additionally, Kaufman received 843 votes, Holley Johnson received 761 votes and Steve Johnson claimed 352.

Strouse was very consistent across the board but ran strongest in Washington and Richland townships, where he earned 35.15% and 33.55% of the votes, additionally capturing wins in Ripley, Monroe and Knox.

Crilow also won five voting districts including Hardy, Prairie and Knox townships, as well as Millersburg East and Millersburg West, capturing 36.3% of the vote in Prairie Township.

Kaufman ran well in the east, dominating Berlin North and Berlin South (48.66% and 41.57%, respectively), along with winning Clark (47.22%) and Walnut Creek (33.33%). He also was strong in Saltcreek (30.6%).

Holley Johnson topped Saltcreek Township with 32.09% and dominated Paint Township by earning 45.06% of the votes cast.

Steve Johnson did not win any voting districts but fared the best in Ripley Township, where he earned 27.34% of votes cast.

The race truly boiled down to each candidates’ ability to earn consistent votes throughout each voting district.

Strouse failed to grab less than 15% in only one jurisdiction while Crilow failed to do so in four, Holley Johnson and Dustin Kaufman fell short of that mark in five, and Steve Johnson fell shy of the 15% level in 15 jurisdictions.

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