With two counties’ precincts in and counted, Genoa Township Trustee Rick Carfagna won the Republican primary election for the Ohio House 68th District by 2,074 votes.
Carfagna had 2,502 votes in Knox County and 8,472 votes in Delaware County, for a total of 10,974.
Carfagna’s nearest threat in the five-candidate GOP race was Beth Lear, who had 4,514 votes in Knox County and 4,385 in Delaware County, for a total of 8,900 votes.
Carfagna, who spent the evening at his parents’ house in Genoa Township, said the slow posting of results by the Delaware County Board of Elections probably put a lot of people in the hospital Tuesday night, considering that Knox County had all precincts posted by 9:30.
“I want to thank everyone who placed their trust in me with their vote,” Carfagna said. “We believed from the start that there were no entitlements in this race; that we were going to have to run hard and earn every vote. This is a serious responsibility and we knew we were going to have to run a serious campaign from our kickoff back on July 29 through today.”
Carfagna said he would need to digest the election results by precincts to figure out what he needs to do moving forward.
“Given the fractured vote in Knox County, we know we have miles to go to build a stronger presence up there,” Carfagna said. “It’s my intent to continue building relationships not just with Knox residents, but also with local officials, area businesses, and other community stakeholders that will be important allies in shaping good public policy for our region.”
Knox County resident Jason Rogers came in a distant third with 3,829 votes, a result that surprised Carfagna.
“I tip my hat to Jason,” Carfagna said. “He campaigned very hard in Delaware County. I thought he would take home more votes than he did.”
Left in the dust was Patrick J. Quinn with 1,575 votes, and W. Myles Bancroft with 487 votes.
In November, Carfagna’s challenger will be John Russell, who ran unopposed for the 68th House seat on the Democratic primary ticket. Ohio’s 68th House District covers the eastern half of Delaware County and all of Knox County.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.