McARTHUR — Vinton County Courthouse may see a few changes in leadership next year. The neighboring Sheriff’s Office certainly will.

The primary election, originally slated for March 17, was extended to April 28. Ohio’s voters cast their ballots through the mail. The Vinton County Board of Elections posted unofficial results for candidates that evening on its website. Final official results were announced this week.

According to the Board, out of the 8,307 registered voters in the county, only 2,135 ballots were cast, resulting in a voter turn-out of 25.7 percent for this primary election. 1,482 Republican ballots were cast, 649 Democratic ballots were cast and four Libertarian ballots were cast.

Contested races on the primary ballot included the Vinton County Clerk of Courts, a seat at the Vinton County Board of Commissioners and the role of Vinton County Sheriff. Results did not change majorly after the official count.

Clerk of Courts:

Several candidates vied for the position of County Clerk of Courts, which has been held by Lisa Gilliland since 1996. Gilliland decided not to run for re-election.

Running on the Republican ballot were Jeremiah Griffith and Laura Saunders-Mayers. Griffith has appeared to defeat Saunders-Mayers. Griffith ultimately received 882 votes, and Saunders-Mayers received 525 votes.

Running on the Democratic ballot were Barbi Sowers Hammond, Kimberly Peck-Peoples and Jodi Coleman.

Coleman emerged as the winner with 241 votes, but this was a much closer race than others in the county. Sowers Hammond received 215 votes. Kim Peck-Peoples received 156 votes.

Griffith and Coleman will appear on the general election ballot in November.


Incumbent Mark Fout led the race for his contested commissioner seat with 672 votes. Virgil Pratt received 161 votes. Joe White received 595 votes.

Running for the seat as a Democrat was Bret Sowers, who was uncontested in this primary election. He received 511 complimentary votes. Sowers will appear on the general election ballot come November, facing off with Fout.

Incumbent William Wellman ran unopposed, receiving 1,074 complimentary votes.


Vinton County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ryan Cain led the race for Sheriff. He will replace the county’s current Sheriff, Shawn Justice, who decided not to run for re-election.

McArthur Police Chief Matt Kight received 539 votes. Cain received 905 votes.

A Democrat did not file for this position.

A complete list of primary election results can be found on our website,

The general election is slated for Nov. 3, 2020.; @sydneydawes_95

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