Your Digital Source for Zanesville News

Y-City News

Your Digital Source for Zanesville News

Y-City News

Your Digital Source for Zanesville News

Y-City News

Both county commissioner seats to be challenged in 2024, Crooks set to retire


While Muskingum County citizens will have a plethora of choices in both state-wide and federal races in 2024, all but the two county commissioner seats will go unchallenged locally, a typical trend according to data compiled by Y-City News.

Three Republican candidates will vie for County Commissioner Mollie Crooks’ seat in March, who announced she is retiring from the position; that Republican nominee will then take on Democrat John Furek in the November General Election.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are all but assured to go head-to-head once again, leading the November ballot, but according to many, it’s the March Primary that is expected to get the most local attention.

According to a quarter-century of data previously tabulated by Y-City News, which follows a trend seen across the country, the presidential primary in March and its general in November, which occurs alongside state and local races, are expected to pull the highest turnouts.

County Commissioner Mollie Crooks, a Republican, announced in mid-2023 that she would be retiring from her post, a position she has held since 2017. Three Republicans filed by the December deadline for her seat, and all were validated – setting up a three-way primary, which is atypical for local races.

Former Zanesville Police Chief Tony Coury, a decorated Marine veteran, Gene Tahyi, a local church and community leader, and Drake Prouty, a six-term elected township trustee will face head-to-head-to-head in the March primary which takes place on March 19 – early voting begins near the end of February; Prouty secured the Muskingum County Republican Club’s endorsement.

The winner of that race will take on Democrat John Furek in November – there is still time for an independent to file – though it rarely occurs in Muskingum County.

Justin Wyatt, a Democrat, will take on incumbent County Commissioner Cindy Cameron in the November election as well; all other races are unopposed and likely to remain that way.

Prosecutor Ron Welch, Sheriff Matt Lutz, County Recorder Cindy Rodgers, County Treasurer Todd Hixson and County Coroner Seth Vensil, all incumbent Republicans, are running uncontested.

County Court Judge Scott Rankin, whose seat is nonpartisan, will file at the later appropriate time.

Representative Adam Holmes (Ohio House 97th District – R) is unchallenged in both his primary and general at this time – his seat is up every two years.

Three seats on the 5th District Court of Appeals, which includes Muskingum County, are also up – no Democrats have filed and all three seats face contested Republican primaries – those petitions have yet to be certified. One of those who has filed, Robert Montgomery, lives in Blue Rock and is a citizen of Muskingum County.

Other races, such as Troy Balderson’s seat (U.S. House of Representatives District 12 – R) have yet to be certified but due to the district’s overwhelming Republican voting block, will be all but a guaranteed win for the Zanesville native.

There will also be a contested Republican primary for U.S. Senate, likely a four-way race, to determine who will take on incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) this November – what many experts say could be the most expensive in Ohio history.

Three races for the Ohio Supreme Court will also be up for grabs, two regular and one unexpired term. Justice Joseph Deters (R), who was appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine in 2023, will not seek the unexpired term for which he was appointed but will instead take on Justice Melody Stewart (D) – hoping to give his party a larger position on the court while also extending his term, if he is successful, from 2026 until 2030.

And of course, there will be both a presidential primary and general election this year – though many experts believe it will ultimately come down to a repeat of 2020 with Biden facing Trump – to determine which of the two will get a second term.

February 20 is the final day to register to vote for the March 19 primary election – that can be done online via the Secretary of State’s website – click here.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All Y-City News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *