MOUNT VERNON — Knox County voted solidly red Tuesday, putting more than 60 percent of its votes behind Republican candidates.
In state and federal races, Republican support never dipped below 62 percent (voting for Keith Faber in the auditor of state race) and topped at 69 percent (for treasurer of state candidate Robert Sprague.) The county backed Jim Renacci in the U.S. Senator race by 63 percent, although Renacci lost to incumbent Sherrod Brown when all the votes were counted state-wide.
The county backed Republican Andrew Brenner with 14,804 votes in his win over Democrat Louise Valentine and Green Party candidate Gary Cox in the Ohio Senate 19th District race.
In the 68th Ohio House District, Knox County contributed 14,960 votes to Representative Rick Carfagna’s win over Democrat Kathleen Tate and Libertarian Patrick Glasgow.
Carfagna campaigned solely on his record of the first two years in office, highlighting a history of bi-partisan legislation. Speaking with the News Tuesday night, Carfagna said he hopes it was his record in office, and not the ‘R’ next to his name, that won the race.
Though Carfagna won with a clear lead, he said he “really wasn’t sure what to expect” going into Tuesday night.
“It’s a very different situation than two years ago,” Carfagna said. “In the current mood of the country, you don’t know what will resonate. Will it be your performance, or will they lump you in with party.”
Republican Bob Gibbs won a heavy victory over Democrat challenger Ken Harbaugh in the 7th U.S. Congressional District, helped along by 14,464 Knox County votes.
While Gibbs held onto his seat, he will go back to a Congress with a Democrat majority. In a statement released to the press, Gibbs cited economic gains under the Republican majority and said the nation is “safer and stronger. Democrats cannot be allowed to reverse this and I will not stop fighting to make Ohio and America even greater.”
On the county level, the Knox County Board of Commissioners will remain solidly red. Republican Bill Pursel won handily over Democrat Donald Bovinett, Jr., taking 72 percent of the vote, 15,822 to 6,040.
Pursel said he feels voters chose him over Bovinett not because of party affiliation, but that they feel he is the best person for the job.
“I don’t know if being a Republican or a Democrat makes a difference at the county level,” Pursel said. “I think you put your trust in individuals, not so much in party.”
Knox County Republican Chair Chip McConville said he is not surprised that the county went Republican on all state and federal races.
“Typically, Knox County overperforms Republican compared to the rest of the state,” McConville said. “We have three times as many registered Republicans as Democrats, and the independents break toward the Republican side. (Tuesday’s results) were quite typical for Knox County.”
All results are unofficial until certified.