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Two independent candidates certified for Jefferson County Commission race

STEUBENVILLE — Two men running as independents have had their candidacies certified for the November general election.

Daniel Cermak of 724 Township Road 119, Dillonvale, and Patrick Murphy of 121 Madison Ave., Mingo Junction, submitted the required number of valid signatures to earn a place on the Nov. 3 ballot for the Jefferson County commissioner seat being vacated by longtime commissioner Tom Gentile.

A third applicant, Dr. Frank Petrola, did not gather enough valid signatures “so he will not advance,” according to Diane Gribble, executive director of the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

Cermak and Murphy will join a race for the Jan. 3 seat that includes Democrat Edward Littlejohn and Republican Tony Morelli. Littlejohn defeated Steve Vukelic in the April 28 primary, while Morelli was unopposed on the GOP side. In the race for the Jan. 2 commissioner seat, incumbent Republican Dave Maple is squaring off against Democrat Bob Smith.

Both were unopposed in the primary.

Gribble said the results of the primary election have been certified, with 112 provisional and 171 absentee ballots added in.

“We added a total of 283 ballots to the official count,” Gribble said, noting the changed totals didn’t affect the outcome of any races.

Absentee ballots had to be postmarked on or before April 27 and received at the elections office by May 8 to be counted.

Gribble said voter turnout for the primary was around 25 percent, with 11,591 ballots cast.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 5.

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