CENTERVILLE — It appears one newcomer and one incumbent will receive Republican nominations for two open seats on the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors. However, there are enough outstanding absentee ballots to potentially change the result.
At the end of vote counting on Tuesday, Mark McGill and incumbent Linda Demry had the lead in the contested Republican primary for the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors. Five candidates were fighting for two spots on the Republican ticket.
No nominations were solidified, as no candidates on the Republican side received at least 35 percent of the vote. A county convention of Republicans will be triggered to determine the formal nominees.
McGill received 604 votes from his party’s voters. Demry, battling for a second term on the board, received 465.
She fended off a close challenge from Republican Jeffery Kulmatycki, who pulled in 431 votes. The other incumbent in the field, Republican Neal Smith, finished fourth in the voting with 301 votes.
The fifth Republican candidate for the two seats was Richard Taylor, who finished the night with 200 votes.
Appanoose County Auditor Kelly Howard said there were 272 ballots not yet returned as of the end of the day on Monday. Ballots that are postmarked by June 1 and received by the June 8 canvass can still be counted. The results remain unofficial until the canvass.
On Wednesday, the auditor’s office said it received 40 more absentee ballots that will be eligible for counting. Those ballots will be counted Thursday when the absentee board reconvenes.
Democratic voters in the county had two choices to propel to the two seats on the November ballot: Richard Burger and Kristopher Hoffman.
If the results hold, Appanoose County voters in November will have McGill, Demry, Burger and Hoffman as options for the two supervisor seats up for election.
With increased absentee voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Appanoose County already had bested its countywide turnout numbers from the past two elections. More than 1,300 absentee ballots were returned by Monday. In 2018, there were 1,267 votes cast total, both at the polls and through absentee. In 2016 there were just 496 voters.
In all, 1,849 ballots have been counted so far across the county for Tuesday’s primary.
There were no Democrats in the primaries for county auditor and county sheriff. The Republican incumbents, Howard and Sheriff Gary Anderson, were unopposed in their bids for the nomination.