Champaign County recount: Sheriff’s challenger defeats incumbent by 9 votes

Full recount ended with four more votes for incumbent but did not change outcome.

Chad Burroughs defeated incumbent Sheriff Matthew Melvin by a nine-vote margin in the Republican primary following a countywide recount Monday, positioning him against a write-in candidate in the November election.

Burroughs won 3,276, or 50.07% of the vote, while Melvin received 3,267 votes, or 49.93%, board of elections deputy director Chris Creamer said. He said the margins “fluctuated throughout the county.”

“Every vote counts,” Creamer said.

The previous margin was 13 votes with Burroughs in the lead, with the less than 0.5% difference triggering an automatic recount per Ohio law.

The recount was to be completed Thursday, but there was an issue with the tabulator machine, and the technician for Clear Ballots came up from Clark to Champaign County to assist, fixing the issue quickly and allowing the recount to be completed, Creamer said.

Burroughs previously ran against Melvin in the 2020 primary election, with Melvin winning by about 11% of the vote.

Melvin has been sheriff since he was named interim and then elected in 2012, and has worked as a dispatcher, corrections officer, court services deputy, patrol deputy, sergeant and chief deputy. He also holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Clark State Community College.

Burroughs resigned from his position at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in 2020 to run for Champaign County Sheriff. His law enforcement experience includes previous work as a sergeant, detective sergeant, major, colonel and law enforcement officer. Burroughs also attended the Law Enforcement Academy after graduation.

Burroughs was the second Republican in the area to beat an incumbent. In Clark County, Chris Clark beat eight-year incumbent Sheriff Deborah Burchett by 20% of the vote, according to final, unofficial results.

Retired Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Durham filed a letter of intent Friday to run as a write-in candidate in Champaign County. He will face off against Burroughs on Nov. 5.

In a Facebook post, Burroughs expressed his gratitude to voters.

“Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude and humility as I reflect on the outcome of the election,” Burroughs posted. “With a heart overflowing with thanks to God and each and every person in out community, I am truly overwhelmed.”

In a previous Facebook post following the initial close results, Melvin thanked his supporters and thanked everyone for voting as he waited the recount results.

“I am grateful to this community for the opportunity to serve you for the past 28 years,” Melvin posted. “I am thankful for the deputies and staff who serve and protect this community on a daily basis.”

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Burrough’s law enforcement experience.)

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