DARKE COUNTY — Darke County saw higher-than-usual voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election.
According to the unofficial results provided by the Darke County Board of Elections, 46.41 percent of registered voters cast a ballot on March 15.
This represents an increase in comparison to the past two presidential primary elections in Darke County. In 2012, only 34.97 percent of registered persons voted in the primary. County turnout in the 2008 primary was 43.10 percent.
This year’s Ohio turnout for a primary election was the second-highest ever, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
“All precincts are now reporting and the unofficial results show 3,137,109 ballots cast with 41.48 percent turnout — the second highest turnout in a primary election,” said a statement issued by Husted’s office. “The record was set in the 2008 Presidential Primary with 3,603,523 ballots cast with 46.04 percent turnout.”
The larger voter turnout in the state could be attributed to a number of factors. Though presidential hopeful Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the state’s 66 Republican delegates, Donald Trump’s colorful campaign certainly drew interest. Darke County Republicans, in contrast to the overall state result, gave Trump an edge over Kasich.
As well, a contentious local primary race pitted 15 Republicans in a contest to fill the open 8th U.S. Congressional District seat. Troy businessman Warren Davidson won both the nomination to fill the remainder of Rep. John Boehner’s term — with a special election scheduled for June 7 — as well as the nod to run as the party’s nominee in this fall’s general election.
In Darke County voting, Davidson (33 percent) beat Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle (25 percent) and Ohio Rep. Tim Derickson (14 percent). No other Congressional candidate surpassed 10 percent in the county.
For the U.S. Senate, the county’s GOP voters heavily approved Sen. Rob Portman’s reelection drive, with the incumbent receiving 82 percent of the vote.
For Ohio’s District 12 Senate race, which encompasses the northern half of Darke County, Republicans handed the nomination to Matt Huffman (67 percent) versus John Adams (33 percent).
Current District 12 Sen. Keith Faber, prevented from running again for the Ohio Senate because of term limits, won the GOP nomination for Ohio’s 84th Congressional district, where he will seek to replace retiring Rep. Jim Buchy.
Republican voters in the county gave Pat Fischer (54 percent) the go-ahead in the race for a Ohio Supreme Court seat versus Colleen O’Toole (45 percent).
As reported in Wednesday’s Daily Advocate, Matt Aultman received the GOP nod to run for a seat on the Darke County Board of Commissioners. His 52 percent topped competitors Joe LeMaster (37 percent) and Fred Dean (10 percent).
In the Democratic Party contests, Darke County gave presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a 54-to-43 percent advantage over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
County Democrats also provided former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland with 65 percent of the vote. Second-place hopeful Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld gained just shy of 20 percent.
Darke County Elections Director Becky Martin reported there were no county elections close enough to require a recount and that the vote will be certified March 28.