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MILLERSBURG -- Sworn into office in November and sitting on appointment of Gov. John Kasich, the incumbent judge of Holmes County's Municipal Court will retain his seat on the bench through 2019.
In Tuesday's Republican primary election, Andrew G. Hyde, of Lakeville, bested challenger Samuel M. Steimel, of Millersburg, by a vote of 1,290 (64.31 percent) to 716 (35.69 percent). Hyde, unopposed in the November primary, now will continue to serve out the unexpired term of the late Jane Irving-Baserman.
In total, 2,017 (11.23 percent) of Holmes County's 17,963 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday's election. All but 11 of them weighed in on the judge's race, the only countywide race.
A total of five provisional ballots and five outstanding absentee ballots are not part of Tuesday night's unofficial final count but will be included in totals to be certified by the Board of Elections on May 15.
"I have always felt, when I'm on the bench, I'm in Judge Jane's courtroom. I don't know when that's going to go away. The governor can't put someone one the bench and expect that to happen. I'm glad to have the affirmation of the voters the court is going in the right direction," said Hyde.
Of the race, he said, "I think my experience set me apart from Sam. It's been 22 years of doing what a municipal court needs to do. So I was comfortable from Day 1 knowing the law and the procedures and moving forward in that vein."
His opponent was a formidable one.
"There is no other attorney in this county who has done more than Sam Steimel has done," Hyde said. "I knew that he could still be the voice of Holmes County from the bench. I was still prepared for the voters to say he represents them more than I do.I've always liked Sam. I always felt if there was anybody worthy of this, it was him. But I was prepared to step in from Day 1 to continue Judge Jane's way of handling court."
Steimel, likewise, had kind words for Hyde, saying, "Congratulations to Hyde and thank you to all my supporters and friends for everything they did throughout the campaign."
Hyde and Steimel were among three local attorneys recommended by the Holmes County Republican Party Central Committee to fill the position made vacant by Irving's Aug. 28 death.
All three were interviewed by members of Kasich's team, and Hyde, who landed the appointment, was sworn in on Nov. 18.
Also on the ballot in various parts of the county in Tuesday's election:
■ Baltic Village -- a 2-mill, five-year renewal levy for current expenses, passed 2-0.
■ Millersburg West -- an option for Sunday sales, 10 a.m.-midnight, for off-premise sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages at Walmart, 1640 S. Washington St., Millersburg, failed, 52-30.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.