Alexander A. Zumbar has won a full four-year term as Stark County treasurer.
As of 1 a.m. Wednesday, Zumbar, a Republican, was defeating Democratic challenger Kelly Zachary by nearly 22,000 votes — 91,309 to Zachary’s 69,385. That unofficial result doesn’t include paper ballots cast on Tuesday, some absentees ballots and provisional ballots.
The race, which grabbed headlines in 2010 following the multimillion theft of a former treasurer employee and the subsequent ouster of the former treasurer, largely was overshadowed this year by the presidential battle as well as the contests for county sheriff and county commissioner where the incumbents didn’t seek re-election.
Other contested countywide offices up for election this year included clerk of courts, coroner, recorder and prosecutor. Stark County Engineer Keith A. Bennett and Commissioner Thomas Bernabei were unopposed.
As of 12:30 a.m., Stark County voters were poised to return each of the incumbents — Treasurer Zumbar, Clerk of Courts Nancy Reinbold, Coroner P.S. Murthy, Recorder Rick Campbell and Prosecutor John Ferrero — to their county offices.
Zumbar took the lead early, when less than a third of the precincts had been counted despite that votes had appeared to lean heavily Democrat in every other county race. By midnight, he had widened his lead to 56 percent.
In 2010, Zumbar had trailed for most of the night, but ultimately won the right to finish former treasurer Gary Zeigler’s term with 54 percent of the 123,951 votes cast. Zumbar served as treasurer for seven months until the Ohio Supreme Court reinstated Zeigler due to a faulty state statute. He reclaimed the office after Zeigler resigned in October 2011.
None of the other county races were close, with all of the incumbents enjoying at least 60 percent of the vote throughout the night.
Prosecutor Ferrero was defeating Republican challenger Michael J. Grady with 60 percent of the 157,890 votes cast as of very early this morning. Grady, a retired attorney from Lake Township, had launched the most visible campaign of any of the challengers in the five county races, using billboards and other ads that pounced on the Ohio Supreme Court’s rulings against the prosecutor’s office.
Reinbold held 63 percent of the vote over Republican Jeff B. Heimbaugh with 156,935 votes counted. Murthy, the county’s coroner since 2005, garnered 60 percent of the vote over challenger Republican Guy L. Blaser.
Campbell had earned 60 percent of the 155,224 votes cast in the race over former Canton Councilman Mark A. Butterworth.