Republican Primary candidate for Hillsboro mayor Drew Hastings is shown following the election results Tuesday night. 

Republican Primary candidate for Hillsboro mayor Drew Hastings is shown following the election results Tuesday night. 

Drew Hastings defeated opponents Rod Daniels and Terry Mikkelsen Tuesday during the Republican primary election Tuesday in the race for Hillsboro mayor, receiving unofficially 295 votes.

Hastings will face Independent candidate John Levo in the November general election. 

 

 With all five Hillsboro precincts reporting, unofficially, Terry Mikkelsen received 97 votes, while Rod Daniels received 68 votes.

 

According to the Highland County Board of Elections, there were 4,709 people total who were eligible to vote Tuesday, including the Brush Creek precinct. Only 460 people voted in the city of Hillsboro, and only 101 people voted in the Brush Creek precinct. The board did not specify if the 4,709 figure was specifically Republican voters, or all of Hillsboro's electorate. 


Hastings said that he was "relieved" and "humbled" to have won the Republican primary election, and that he looks forward to facing Levo in November. 

 

"No question, I am humbled," Hastings said. "I've never done anything politically before, and they had told me when I got into this race, they said, 'It will be much harder than you know.' I didn't quite realize that it would be as hard as it was. It has been very humbling to really be just grassroots democracy, to just talk to individual voters and to represent them and to tell them what you want to do and why they should support and get behind you, that's a very humbling thing. Especially when they do get behind you."

 

He said that he was "surprised and not surprised" to have received such a high percentage of the overall vote. 

 

"People could have decided that they didn't like my message at all and it could have gone some other way," Hastings said. "But I think I resonated with voters. I think I speak for a lot of voters. In a lot of ways I'm just another citizen who decided to get up, walk over and fill out a mail-order petition. At the end of the day, that's what I was, and maybe I'm a little more communicative than the average person because I tend to talk for a living, but I'm really honored to be here. I look forward to the general election because I think now negates the fact (people thought) maybe this was a publicity stunt or that somehow I was a wild card. With all that behind me, I look forward to framing this general election against me and Mr. Levo and it will be a very clear choice to the voters in the general election, now that we've kind of gotten out of this cluster of the primary."

 

Hastings said that he plans on taking a month off from campaigning and he will think about the election over the summer to get ready for the fall. 

"I look forward to a spirited race against Mr. Levo," Hastings said.  

 

Hastings thanked voters for supporting him, and thanked his "campaign team," saying that they were politically saavy and helped him through his first election process as a candidate. 

 

"I'm politically very naive," Hastings said. "They were key in helping me do this. I was pretty clueless as to the political process. I still am a political amateur, and that's fine. I don't think the voters want a pro and I don't want to be a pro at this. But I have to thank my campaign, I could never have done any of this without them, and a lot of really helpful core supporters in this town."

 

Each of the three candidates expressed disappointment in the voter turnout, saying that Hillsboro residents need to take a more active roll in what happens in their city. 

 

Hastings said that getting rid of "the apathy" is one of his main goals for Hillsboro, and something that he will push in the general election. 

 

"For all the work that all three of us candidates did, I'm really surprised (at the low voter turnout). I'm very disappointed. I'm very glad that voters came out and voted for me in the numbers that they did, but overall, I'm disappointed," Hastings said. "If I end up being mayor of Hillsboro, I would want to see more participation. That's part of our problem. Our low voter turnout for this primary is indicative of the overall problem that we have in Hillsboro, and that's apathy. That's part of what I've been saying out on the campaign trail, 'Let's get people off their apathy.' The primary showed that. So, now maybe we'll get people a little more excited, and try to get it done."    

 

Mikkelsen and Daniels said that they both wished for a higher turnout at the polls, because they think it is better for Hillsboro if more people are involved.

 

Daniels said that he is proud of the campaign he ran, and thanked his family and supporters, but said that now he has to get behind Hastings.

 

"The Republican Party has chosen who they want to run for the party, and we have to rally behind that person," Daniels said. "The people have spoken."

 

Daniels said that he feels voting is a privilege that is sometimes taken for granted. 

 

"I think all of the candidates were shocked at such a low turnout," Daniels said. "A lot of people were really behind the cause online, but getting them out to vote ... I see situations where people overseas are risking their lives and dying to vote, but here in the United States there is such a small percentage that goes to the polls. I wish a lot more people would have shown up - no matter who won - to voice their opinions. I think we take it for granted sometimes."

 

Mikkelsen said that he has no regrets about the campaign he ran. 

 

"There have been a lot of ups and downs, and today was definitely a down," Mikkelsen said. "I'm thankful for all the supporters that I have, and if something else comes up, hopefully we'll get better support."

 

Mikkelsen would not say whether or not he was considering a run at one of the seven Hillsboro City Council seats that are up for election in 2012.

 

"I have no regrets," Mikkelsen said. "My biggest concern is the number of voters that came out. Whether it was for me, or any other candidate. I've always been very strong in trying to get people to go out and vote. Obviously this is the first time I've been a candidate, so it wasn't for my own political gain. I really don't know what it's going to take to get people to really try to do something for themselves and and the community. It's troubling.  


Also on the ballot, Incumbent Hillsboro Auditor Gary Lewis, a Republican, was uncontested and received 376 votes. 
Incumbent Hillsboro Law Director, Fred Beery, a Republican, was uncontested and received 355 votes.

Lewis thanked voters for the support, saying that receiving so many votes although he was uncontested was "humbling" and that it was an honor to serve the community. 

 

"People didn't have to do that, and I would like to think that it is an indication that they have confidence that I can be an integral part of the city," Lewis said. "I love working here in the city, I love serving the city, and it's truly humbling to me to have this opportunity to work for the city. I have lived here all my life, this is where I want to live, and always have. It's just a pleasure."

 

Voters in one precinct - Brush Creek near Sinking Spring - turned down a 9.4 mill levy for the Adams County/Ohio Valley School District. In the Highland County precinct, unofficially, 11 voters were for the levy, and 99 people were against the levy. According to the Adams County Board of Elections, unofficially, there were 690 votes for the levy and 2,673 against the levy, for a total of 701 votes for the levy and 2,772 votes against the levy.

 

Highland County Board of Elections member Dinah Phillips said that Tuesday's election was the first time the electronic poll books had been used. 

 

"Everything went really smoothly today," Phillips said. "We've had no problems, and the poll books worked great."

 

Phillips credited elections administrator Steve Witham with keeping the electronics running smoothly.