LOWVILLE — The Republican candidate for Lewis County treasurer easily won a three-way race in Tuesday’s voting, while an independent candidate ousted a Republican incumbent and write-in entries are likely to have beaten uncontested candidates in other races.
Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Eric Virkler, who guaranteed his nomination as the Republican candidate in the primary only after absentee votes were counted, walked away with a resounding win in the county treasurer race with 57 percent of the vote, and the other two candidates splitting the remaining vote almost down the middle.
The final tally gave Mr. Virkler 3,051 votes, followed by the Independence Party candidate, Denise Yost, a senior account clerk with the Treasurer’s Office, with 1,332 votes and real estate paralegal Christine Schwendy on the Democratic ticket with 974 votes.
The most hotly contested race of the evening and biggest upset was in the District 1 Legislator race between Republican incumbent John V. Lehman and the independent candidate with the Over the Hill Party, Mr. Lehman’s predecessor, Phil Hathway.
The 46 absentee ballots issued for the district but not yet counted won’t be enough to help Mr. Lehman’s 213 votes overcome the 285 votes received by Mr. Hathway.
The District 4 legislator position vacated by Bryan Moser was won by Attorney Ian W. Gilbert of the Republican and Conservative Parities with 79.7 percent of the votes over retired farmer Thomas J. Schantz of The Farmer Party.
Mr. Gilbert received 476 votes compared to 121 for Mr. Schantz.
In municipal races, write-in candidates challenged and may have won some races that were uncontested going into the evening’s vote.
The town of Watson incumbent Dennis Foster, Republican, garnered 110 votes while a write-in candidate appeared to have won the night with 170 votes.
In the town of Greig, the only candidate on the justice ballot, Republican Mark D. Hogan, earned only 46 votes compared to 288 write-in candidate votes. Mandi Evans, a retail service officer for Community Bank, mounted a write-in campaign in June, however, it is not yet clear that all of the write-in votes were for her.
In the town of New Bremen Highway Superintendent uncontested race, about 83 percent of votes were for write-in candidates totalling 540, while Democrat Jonathan M. Bush received 108 votes.
According to the board of elections, the write-in candidates’ names won’t be determined and released until Thursday so races where write-in votes are in the lead will be ultimately decided then.
Absentee ballots will play a decisive role in a number of municipal races.
Democratic Party incumbent Lydia Wojnowski is in a dead heat with Brian M. Mooney, Republican for a council position in the town of Turin with 83 votes each, although incumbent Jane Gillette- R, C, has had her position secured with 133 votes.
With one of the youngest candidates running for office in Lewis County, 27-year-old Alexis Lyndaker, Republican, having clinched one of the two council seats up for grabs with 338 votes, absentee ballots could alter the outcome between the two incumbent candidates vying for the final spot: independent candidates Casandra Buell of the Unity Party with 288 votes and Marcus Bush of the For the Town Party with 272.
While Republican candidate Kathleen O’Brien Carreon secured her position on the town council for another term with 143 votes, the race between Nancy O’Brien Daily, Republican, with 134 votes and appointed incumbent for the second seat, William “Bill” Roberts with 107 votes, may also be altered once the absentee votes are included.
Absentee votes will be tallied on Nov. 18.