Three candidates for Lawrence County commissioner could have called the night a victory long before the final election results were posted.
The pattern in each precinct held fairly true until the final unofficial votes were tallied.
The three top vote-getters were Republican incumbent Dan Vogler, and newcomers Morgan Boyd, a Republican from New Wilmington, and Loretta Spielvogel, a Democrat from Hickory Township. Timothy Fulkerson, who is a Democrat from New Castle and a city councilman, trailed in votes throughout the night.
Vogler, who serves as chairman of the commissioners, came out as the top vote-getter with 10,072 unofficial votes, with Boyd just behind him with 9,963 and Spielvogel with 8,990. Fulkerson’s tally was 6,665.
Boyd gathered with his friends, family and coworkers at Elham Restaurant, and marveled that Vogler’s method of campaigning is “just amazing.”
Vogler’s campaign signs were scant, countywide.
“I bought signs that were on the back of the city transit buses,” the sitting commissioner said. He also had a few signs up in his sister’s yard on Highland Avenue, ones that had been in her garage from when he ran four years ago.
Advertising and radio spots were part of the veteran commissioner’s campaign. Plus, he sent out 11,000 postcards to voters that were hand-addressed and hand-signed, asking for their votes.
“I think if you’re going to ask someone to vote for you, you have to personalize it,” Vogler said. “I’m obviously very happy with the results. I appreciate the support, now I need to live up to that support.”
Vogler spent most of his evening Tuesday at the courthouse, and most of his day campaigning at the polls in Hickory Township.
Boyd, who claimed victory at just 21 years of age, is the county’s youngest commissioner-elect in recent history. Boyd in celebrating his victory said he was cautiously optimistic early on, while he enjoyed the last day of his campaign.
“We had a ton of fun and the reception was positive throughout the day,” he said.
Spielvogel will be seated as the county’s second-ever female commissioner, and the first in two decades. She gathered with her friends and family and workers at the Sons of Italy on South Mill Street as she watched the vote numbers climb.
“I’m glad the voters came out,” Boyd said upon learning the final unofficial results for the four-year seat. “I’m extremely humbled that collectively, we were able to bring it home tonight. I’m ready to go to work. I’m looking forward to working with my two colleagues to start moving the county forward.”
“I think all of my opponents ran great campaigns,” he said, noting that the voter turnout Tuesday was exceptional.
“A big thank-you to the voters who want to say we have a voice in the future of our county,” he said.
Spielvogel said she spent the day driving all over the county in her vehicle that had her campaign sign posted on the side.
She went to the polls to vote in Hickory Township at 7:05 a.m., and she was voter number five there, she said. She also marveled at the turnout and how many people in Neshannock Township voted straight Republican.
“This campaign was a combination of four years of hard work and getting out into the community and getting to know the voters,” Spielvogel said. “I gave it my all and I did what I thought was the right thing to do.”
As more votes tallied in her favor, she asked her friends, “Is it OK to breathe a sigh of relief?
“I’m humbled by the amount of support I received,” she said.