In GOP primary, Wilkin wins state rep nod; McCarty earns commissioner win

By Tom Barr - and Gary Huffenberger - News Journal

WILMINGTON — Highland County Commissioner Shane Wilkin emerged victorious Tuesday to earn the Republican nod for 91st District State Representative over Clinton County businesswoman Beth Ellis.

The district is comprised of Clinton, Highland and Pike counties and part of Ross County.

In unofficial totals, in Highland County the vote was Wilkin 2,624 to Ellis’ 1,126; in Clinton County, Ellis tallied 2,658 to Wilkin’s 2,041; in Pike County, Wilkin had 1,102 to Ellis’ 672; and in Ross, Wilkin had 85 to Ellis’ 46.

“While I am disappointed in the outcome, I am immensely grateful for the voters who supported me, and for the great work of our tireless, professional and dedicated campaign volunteers,” Ellis stated Tuesday night. “Without the help of so many great people, this campaign would not have been possible. I am grateful too for the countless people whose stories of personal struggle and success I heard while crisscrossing Highland, Pike, Ross and Clinton counties. These extraordinary positive and uplifting experiences shall remain with me forever. I wish Shane every good wish as he assumes his new position of representing all of us.

“As for my future, I am an active farmer and businesswoman and will remain fully engaged in the public life of our community.”

Wilkin did not return calls for comment Tuesday night.

Wilkin will represent the GOP in November in the race to win the 91st District seat. The party is expected to soon name Wilkin to the seat vacated when Cliff Rosenberger stepped down.

McCarty wins

In the Republican race for Clinton County Commissioner, Mike McCarty defeated James Bowling 3,448 to 1,135, or 75 percent to 25 percent. McCarty will face Democrat Rhonda Wheasler in November to replace Pat Haley, who did not run for re-election.

After the results were known, McCarty said Tuesday night, “I’m just very humbled by everybody’s support, and I look forward to moving on to the next stage. I want to thank James Bowling for having a good race, and I wish him the best.”

In the News Journal’s election preview, McCarty listed four priorities he would like to see for the Clinton County Commission in the next four years:

• Develop a comprehensive economic development plan that includes all the communities in the county

• Develop and implement a plan to effectively leverage the hospital funds

• Create a dynamic workforce development strategy;

• Create a pathway for people who have overcome dependency issues to acclimate back to the workforce.

He told the News Journal before the election, “To be an effective commissioner requires a full-time commitment. I am in a position that allows the flexibility to give this office the time it deserves and requires.”

Presently, he works as a residential/commercial real estate agent.



By Tom Barr

and Gary Huffenberger

News Journal