Judgeship Race Was Close, But Not Campaign Spending

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Post-primary campaign finance reports again showed Pat Lang outspending Todd Grace in the race for Athens County Common Pleas Count judge.

As the Messenger previously reported, Lang, who won the Democratic nomination by a four-vote margin, also listed higher spending than Grace in finance reports filed before the election.

Friday was the deadline for filing post-primary reports.

The Lang for Judge Committee’s post-primary report listed expenditures of $6,030 — although $2,922 of those expenditures are listed as contributions to the Ohio Democratic Party. The Todd Grace for Judge Committee listed $1,316 in expenditures, while the campaign of third-place finisher Bill Biddlestone reported $937.

Athens County Deputy Elections Director Penny Brooks said the post-primary reports have not yet been audited. Brooks said she and Elections Director Debbie Quivey will check the reports for errors or omissions, and contact the candidates if more information is needed.

If the pre- and post-primary reports are added today, Lang’s campaign listed monetary expenditures totaling $11,338 (including those contributions to the Ohio Democratic Party), while Grace’s campaign reported a total of $3,934. The total reported by Biddlestone’s campaign was $3,589.

The four-vote margin between Lang and Grace was small enough to trigger an automatic recount. The recount showed Lang won by capturing 1,615 votes to Grace’s 1,611. Biddlestone got 575 votes.

Lang won the Democratic primary, but no Republican filed for the judgeship. The only way Lang could face opposition in November is if a write-in candidate files by Aug. 25.

The seat up for election is currently held by Judge L. Alan Goldsberry, who will be retiring.