Bennett, Flatter and VanDyke win county primaries


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Nearly 26 percent of voters in Darke County turned out to vote in the 2024 Primary Election. While the presidential nominations had already been decided on both tickets, voters in the county still had some choices to make. There were a few contested races to determine who will be on the ballot in November and villages and school districts had issues to be decided.

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Donald J. Trump easily won their party’s nominations to be on the ballot in November. Biden picked up 83 percent of the vote in the county and Trump won 86 percent of the vote. Statewide, Biden had 87 percent compared to Trump’s 79 percent even though the nominations were already decided before Tuesday’s election.

Less than 9,000 voters decided the issues and candidates in Darke County. Of those voting, 7,915 registered as Republicans and 986 registered as Democrats. There were also 53 voters that registered as non-partisan.

In the race for Darke County Prosecutor in the Republican Primary, James Bennett was victorious with nearly 59 percent of the vote over Laura Waymire. Bennett secured 4,148 votes to Waymire’s 2,917 votes. The Democrats did not have a candidate file. If an independent did not register late or a write-in candidate does not join the race, Bennett will be unopposed in the November General Election.

In the contested race for Darke County Commissioner (full term commencing 1-3-2025) that featured two write-in candidates for the Republican nomination, Aaron Flatter pulled away with over 69 percent of the vote. He was able to register 1,340 votes to Meladi Brewer’s 384 votes. Flatter will now face Mike VanDyke in the November election. The Democrats also had a choice between two write-in candidates. VanDyke won with 114 votes to Mona Gazala’s 19 votes.

The Democrats chose Arienne Childrey over Heather Schmidt in the Primary for Democrat for State Representative 84th District. Schmidt was a write-in candidate. Childrey received 535 votes from Darke County voters with nine write-in votes going to Schmidt. Throughout the district, Childrey recieved a total of 1,548 votes. Childrey said, “After overcoming challenges to my candidacy, I’m proud to declare victory in the Democratic primary for State Representative of Ohio’s 84th district. With determination, I press onward, committed to amplifying the voices of the struggling working class, marginalized communities, and those frequently neglected by our current leadership.”

She will now face off against the Republican incumbent in that district, Angie King. King did not have opposition on the Republican side.

In the race for the Republican nomination to face off against Sherrod Brown to possibly flip the U.S. Senate, Bernie Moreno easily won Darke County and the state. Moreno picked up nearly 56 percent of the vote in the county with 4,250 votes. Throughout the state Moreno had over 50 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Warren Davidson and the Democratic nominee Vanessa Enoch will once again square off in the race for Representative to Congress in the 8th District. Davidson faced a challenge from Kay Rogers and easily survived with 80 percent of the vote in the district. He picked up nearly 89 percent in Darke County with 6,653 votes to Rogers’ 846 votes. Enoch won the Democratic nomination with 72 percent of the vote in the district. She picked up the support of over 58 percent of Darke County’s Democrats with 515 votes. Nathaniel Hawkins and David E. Gilb finished behind with 236 and 130 votes, respectively.

In the race for Republican for Judge of the Court of Appeals (2nd District), Robert Hanseman picked up nearly 61 percent of the vote in the county over Chris Epley. Throughout the district, Hanseman won the election with nearly 67 percent of the vote. A Democrat did not file to run against the winner in November.

There were some issues to be decided on Tuesday in some of the villages.

Arcanum saw both of its levies go down in defeat. In Issue 1, Arcanum was seeking a 0.5 mill levy. The levy lost by two votes – 229 to 227. In a 1.6 mills levy for the village, voters voted against the levy with 252 against and 204 for. Both levies were replacement levies, which would have meant additional taxes.

Gordon’s 5 mills renewal levy passed with 24 voting in favor and 14 against.

Hollansburg’s 2.4 mills renewal levy passed with a vote of 22-14. An additional 2.4 mills renewal levy for Hollansburg also passed with a 21-14 vote.

Pitsburg’s 2 mills renewal levy passed 61-36.

Versailles voters approved a one percent income tax levy for Versailles school. Voters approved the tax with 71 percent of voters voting for – 1,071 to 434.

Other contested races:

Democrat for Justice of the Supreme Court (Unexpired term ending 12-31-26) Lisa Forbes – 518, Terri Jamison 334. Forbes also won the state vote total and will go against Republican Daniel Hawkins in November

Republican for Member of State Central Committee, Woman (5th District) – Jessica Franz 1,420 over Valerie Sargent-Wood 651

Republican for Member of State Central Committee, Man (12th District) – Keith Cheney 2,457 over Jake Eilerman 1,914

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