Democrats win 3 county races; Republican rallies to beat incumbent clerk

Carolyn Rice, right, a Democrat and current Montgomery County treasurer, celebrates her election Tuesday as a Montgomery County commissioner. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Three Democrats won Montgomery County races Tuesday, including Carolyn Rice for county commissioner over Republican Doug Barry.

But Republican Mike Foley came from behind to defeat sitting Common Pleas Clerk of Courts Russ Joseph, according to unofficial, final results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Here are results from the races:

Montgomery County Commissioner 

Rice won with 53 percent of the vote over Barry to set up an all-female, all-Democratic commission beginning next year when she joins Judy Dodge and Debbie Lieberman on the county board.

“I’m really quite humbled that the voters of Montgomery County have entrusted me with this new opportunity and role,” Rice said. “I’ve been the county treasurer for 12 years, and it’s been an honor to serve in that capacity, and I’m just very excited to take on the new role of county commissioner.”

Democrats have had control of all three seats for more than a decade. The seat came open when incumbent Dan Foley did not seek re-election and instead set sights on the Statehouse against Republican Rep. J. Todd Smith for a 43rd House District seat.

Barry, a Miami Twp. resident, township trustee and owner of BarryStaff in Dayton, would have become the first non-Democrat in a dozen years to take a commission seat if he won. Rice will move upstairs at the Montgomery County Administration Building.

To get on the ballot, Barry squeezed out a victory over Gary Leitzell, a former Dayton mayor, in the Republican primary in May. Rice cruised to an easy win in May on the Democratic side.

Montgomery County Clerk of Courts 

In the biggest swing of the night, Mike Foley, the Republican challenger,  squeaked by sitting Clerk of Courts Russ Joseph, a Democrat.

Foley had 99,116 votes to Joseph’s 97,516 votes after Joseph had the lead all night. The margin of victory, 50.41 percent to 49.59 percent, is outside of the mandatory recount, if the margin holds up when the results are certified.

Attempts to contact Foley for this story were unsuccessful.

The race featured two candidates with last names long associated with local politics. But neither is the Foley nor Joseph that local voters put into office before.

Mike Foley, left, and Russ Joseph, right, candidates for Montgomery County clerk of courts. SUBMITTED

Mike Foley is not related to Democrat Dan Foley. Democrat Russ Joseph was in his first campaign for public office, while his brother, Matt Joseph, has been on the ballot multiple times and won terms on the Dayton City Commission.

Joseph was named by Democrats to the office last November to replace Greg Brush, who retired and took a job with Hamilton County. A state law required an election this year to fill out the final two years of Brush’s term that would have ended in 2020.

Foley of Oakwood is a small business owner and former Bureau of Motor Vehicles deputy registrar for 12 years. Joseph was chief deputy clerk of the Dayton Municipal Court.

Montgomery County Recorder 

Brandon McClain, the current Democratic county recorder, held on to keep his seat, 55 percent to 45 percent, over Republican Adil Baguirov, former Dayton school board president.

The February death of a longtime Montgomery County recorder set up the Nov. 6 race between McClain, who was appointed by fellow Democrats to fill the post, and Baguirov.

Democrat Brandon McClain, left, the current Montgomery County recorder, is being challenged by Republican Adil Baguirov, former Dayton School Board president. SUBMITTED

“I hope that my victory can serve as a tribute to my mentor and predecessor, Willis E. Blackshear Sr.,” McClain said. “For the support I received from his family and everyone along the way, I am eternally grateful.”

McClain, in office about seven full months, is an attorney who served more recently as a magistrate and acting judge in Dayton Municipal Court presiding over landlord/tenant and real estate cases.

Baguirov is the co-founder of a local trucking company, a real estate investor and owner of other local small business.

Last week, the two campaigns sparred over election ads each called racist.

Montgomery County Auditor 

With all precincts reporting, Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith, a Democrat, easily won re-election, 58 percent to 42 percent over his three-time Republican challenger Harry Bossey.

Keith defeated Bossey in both 2010 and 2014.

Karl Keith, incumbent Democratic Montgomery County Auditor, left, will be challenged again for the third time by Harry Bossey, a Republican. STAFF FILE

Bossey of Washington Twp. worked at Deloitte & Touche as an accountant for seven years. A CPA, he began his own company, Western TradeWinds Inc., which is a supplier of industrial equipment and supplies.

» RELATED: Montgomery County: Auditor's race may feature familiar foes

Keith of Dayton began his career as a state examiner in for the Ohio Auditor of State. He was chief deputy auditor in Montgomery County and was appointed to the position in 2000 and elected to four-year terms in four elections from 2002 to 2014.


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