The election season that we have just come through was, by most accounts, one of the most brutal in memory.
Yet, when all the dust had settled early Wednesday morning, we learned that area voters were happy with the work of their elected officials.
In Jefferson County, for instance, incumbent commissioners Dave Maple and Tom Gentile held off spirited challengers to earn re-election to their positions.
At the state level, state Sen. Lou Gentile was elected to a full term in Ohio's 30th Senate District, holding onto the seat he was appointed to 11 months ago. During his tenure in the state House and Senate, the Steubenville Democrat has built a reputation of being able to work across party lines to get things done in Columbus, and we're confident he will continue to represent our area well.
Also winning re-election was U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson. The Marietta Republican has represented Ohio's 6th Congressional District well during his first two years in office, and said early Wednesday that he was ready to take on the challenges that will await Congress when it reconvenes.
Residents of Steubenville, meanwhile, showed that they continue to support the services provided by the city when they once again renewed the 5-mill services levy.
Troubling, though, was that voters once again said no to much-needed levies in the Indian Creek, Edison and Buckeye local school districts, as well at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. The results mean administrators will have to continue their struggles to provide quality education in facilities that are becoming less adequate with each passing year.
On the national level, we are encouraged by re-elected President Barack Obama's willingness to reach out and make the "difficult compromises needed to move this country forward." We also are mindful of the words of the president's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, who said in his concession speech, "At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the peoples' work." The next few weeks will reveal whether Obama's comments Tuesday night were a reflection of a real change in attitude or merely rhetoric meant to make those who voted against him feel better about the election outcome.
While we know that not everyone who voted Tuesday was happy with the way things turned out, we know that all who traveled to the polls or who cast an early ballot can feel good that they participated in the election process.
They were among the 66 percent of registered voters in Jefferson County who choose to make the democratic process work, and they are to be commended for their efforts.