Meanwhile, first-time candidates Thomas S. Moulton Jr. and Brett Boothe were successful in netting the Republican nominations for, respectively, probate-juvenile judge and county engineer.
Those results were posted early today in the only contested races to appear on the ballot, and all of them in the Republican aisle.
Smith netted 2,523 votes to opponent Shirley Angel’s 2,183 to press ahead with his reelection plans. Angel is a former county commissioner who served two terms between 1997 and 2005.
Smith will now face Democrat Lois M. Snyder for the Jan. 3 term as commissioner. Snyder, a retired manager of the Gallia Soil and Water Conservation District, had no opposition in the primary and netted 2,542 ballots.
Incumbent Commissioner Joe Foster, a Democrat currently serving out the remainder of the Jan. 2 term held by Fred Deel before Deel’s appointment as director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, had no opposition in the primary, where he snared 2,979 votes. Barring the entry of an independent or write-in candidate, Foster is unopposed in the fall.
McGhee, who’s been treasurer since 1999, soared to victory with 3,259 votes to 1,427 for his GOP primary opponent, veteran county auditor’s employee Jim Clark. McGhee is also unopposed in the general election.
Political newcomer Boothe, who works for Ohio Department of Transportation District 9, netted 3,321 votes to incumbent Glenn A. Smith’s 1,311 ballots. Smith was seeking a third consecutive term as county engineer.
Boothe has no opposition in the fall.
And Moulton, whose father served four terms as probate-juvenile judge, received 2,846 votes over incumbent William S. Medley’s 1,816. Moulton is currently an assistant prosecuting attorney, while Medley, a former Gallipolis municipal judge, was seeking a second six-year term on the bench this year.
Moulton will face local attorney John Lentes in the fall. Lentes, the sole Democrat to seek the judgeship, collected 2,513 complimentary votes.
In the race for sheriff, Republican Roger P. Brandeberry will face off with Democrat Joseph R. Browning in the fall. Neither candidate had opposition in the primary.
Brandeberry, a former Gallipolis police chief, was given 3,455 complimentary votes while Browning, currently a captain with the sheriff’s department, received 3,442 ballots.
Other candidates who ran unopposed in the primary and face no opposition in the fall are Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Adkins, a Democrat seeking a second term, who received 3,339 votes; Clerk of Courts Noreen M. Saunders, a Republican seeking a fourth term, who netted 3,931 ballots; County Recorder J. Roger Walker, seeking a second term, who received 3,291 complimentary ballots; and Dr. Daniel H. Whiteley, who was awarded 3,810 ballots in his race for a third consecutive term as coroner.
For state representative in the 87th House District that includes Gallia County, incumbent Dr. Clyde Evans, a Republican from Rio Grande, received 4,218 votes to win the nomination in his quest for a fourth term. Four wite-in votes were cast locally for a write-in GOP candidate, Daryl L. Petrie of Jackson County.
Shane Meldick, the Oak Hill-area farmer and trucker seeking Evans’ post, received 2,426 votes from Gallia’s Democratic voters.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, a Democrat from Bridgeport, won 3,005 complimentary votes in the local Democratic primary, while his Republican challenger, Richard D. Stobbs, got 2,624 ballots from Gallia voters.
And Gallia’s Democratic voters gave Hillary Rodham Clinton a wide margin of victory over her rival for the party’s presidential nomination, Barack Obama. Clinton was awarded 3,595 votes locally to 861 for Obama. Candidates who had withdrawn from the White House race but who got votes Tuesday were Joe Biden, 27; John Edwards, 157; and Bill Richardson, 22.
In the Republican aisle, presumptive presidential nominee John McCain received 2,815 ballots, with Mike Huckabee garnering 1,572 votes. Ron Paul netted 101 votes, while Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, who had earlier left the race for the White House, got 69 and 74 votes, respectively.
The only local tax isssue on the ballot was the District 2 fire protection levy, which passed 349-186.
Officials reported few problems throughout the day, and Elections Director Jeff Halley said he was impressed by the fact most voters opted for the electronic balloting machines that have been in use for the past few years,
Less than 50 people requested paper ballots, he said.
“Gallia County always comes through with shining colors,” Halley said. “It’s a real vote of confidence in the voting machines.”
Officials also hailed the posting of election results on the county’s website, www.gallianet.net, as a plus for the public, despite a ban on release of election results imposed by the secretary of state’s office until 9 p.m.
All absentee ballots cast prior to the election, as well as paper votes, were counted Tuesday night into early today, with only 129 provisional ballots outstanding.
Provisional ballots will be included in the official count the Board of Elections will conduct on Tuesday, March 25 at 9 a.m.