In a Tight Race, Gliha Edges Past Matheney
“I’m ecstatic and excited to continue my work,” Geauga County Auditor Frank Gliha said, breathing a sigh of relief after his narrow win over Mary Brigid “Bridey” Matheney in Tuesday’s primary election.
Gliha received a total of 5,067 votes with Matheney bringing in 4,983, according to final unofficial results of the Geauga County Board of Elections.
“It was a close one, but I’m glad to see the Geauga voters were not swayed by all the negative campaigning in several of the races,” he said. “I’d like to thank the public for believing in my integrity.”
Gliha did some last minute campaigning in Auburn near the Adam Hall polling location.
At midday, on Tuesday, he felt good about his chances.
“People headed in to vote are shaking my hand and giving me a thumbs-up,” he said. “I’m not sure, but I think that’s a good sign.”
Matheney was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.
At press time, it was not known if she would request a recount. A major part of her campaign criticized Gliha for holding on to accumulated funds in the Real Estate Assessment Fund, arguing that the money should be released to local governments and taxing authorities such as libraries and schools.
Gliha responded that the funds are needed to pay for the upcoming reappraisals.
Reached several hours before the polls closed, Matheney said she learned “quite a bit” about the county while campaigning.
“While meeting with residents, I found that the closer to Chardon, the more people pay attention to Geauga County government,” she said. “And the farther away, especially to the west, the less interest they have in the county government. Many people feel that there is a lot of cronyism at the county level.”
She, too, took advantage of the good weather to visit at several polling locations throughout the day Tuesday, but expressed concern at what appeared to be a low voter turnout.
Matheney met voters for a meet and greet event at the Bell Station on Chillicothe Road in South Russell and at the various pancake breakfasts held throughout the county in March.
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