Incumbent Montgomery County commissioners win

The Montgomery County commission races came down to the wire Tuesday night, but the Democrats were able to maintain a grip on the board as incumbents Judy Dodge and Debbie Lieberman held onto their seats.

Democratic Commissioner Judy Dodge earned her third full term on the commission by garnering about 51.7 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Bob Matthews’ 48.3 percent, according to unofficial board of elections results with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Commissioner Debbie Lieberman, with 50.58 percent of the vote, just slightly edged out Republican opponent Gary Leitzell, who received 49.3 percent of the vote, the results show.

The three-person county board of commissioners will continue to consist entirely of Democrats.

County voters, who passed on the opportunity for new faces on the county commission, also re-elected the incumbent candidates in the juvenile judge and clerk of courts contests.

Dodge and Lieberman on the campaign touted their records and experience in office, which they claim show a commitment to and focus on priorities important to the community, including workforce development and human services improvements.

Dodge, who was first elected to the commission in 2006, said she will be grateful to continue her work on issues that matter, including improving food access and workforce development.

Both Dodge and Lieberman said they are thankful that they were positive campaigns that avoided the nastiness of the presidential contest. Debates between all the commission candidates often focused on issues including the heroin epidemic, the attracting and retaining young talent and economic development.

Still, Dodge said, she did not take this race for granted and worked hard to convince voters she deserved to remain in office.

“There’s only two ways to run: Scared and unopposed,” she said. “And I was scared.”

Dodge said the county has been laser-focused on getting local residents back to work by helping them obtain the job training and credentials they need to compete in growing industries.

Dodge’s opponent, Matthews, is a Miami Twp. trustee and business owner.

Lieberman defeated Leitzell, who is the former Dayton mayor. This will be Lieberman’s fourth term in office.

Lieberman said this race was not as intense as some of her previous battles. In 2012, Lieberman fought off a challenge from Republican Ashley Webb but won by a greater margin.

Lieberman said running hasn’t necessarily gotten easier, but it was less stressfull because she now understands what to do and what to expect.

Lieberman said she believes the race boiled down to whether or not voters feel like she has done a good job.

She said hopefully they recognized the county has tried to capitalize on a improving economy by helping people find work or better-paying employment through improved job skills or other supports.

“We’re doing incredible training and I think, on my own agenda, the things I’m working on are really important to the community,” she said.

Greg Brush, a Democrat, was re-elected as Montgomery County Clerk of Courts. Juvenile court Judge Tony Capizzi coasted to re-election.