A margin of just 88 votes decided the winner of the Franklin County Municipal Judge Republican primary race Tuesday.
Washington attorney Ben Hotz defeated incumbent A. David Arand, Union, by a 50.3 to 49.64 percent margin.
Of the total 12,128 votes cast, Hotz received 6,108 and Arand, 6,020.
“I was optimistic we would have a chance to win the primary, but thought it would be close,” Hotz said. “We were out campaigning right up until the day of the primary election. I didn’t want to feel like I left anything in the tank, win or lose.”
Hotz said Arand has been a mentor to him since he first entered the legal field 14 years ago when they worked at the same firm.
“I think the voters in the Republican primary had two quality candidates to choose from,” Hotz said. “When the results came in, he reached out to me and offered his assistance in the transition if we are able to win the general election in November, total class act.”
Hotz will face Democrat Bill Stahlhuth, Labadie, in the November general election.
“We put a lot of effort into our campaign,” Hotz said. “We hope to keep the momentum moving forward.”
Hotz said he enjoys serving the community and has for many years since moving home from law school. He said this is the only judicial position for which he is seeking election, and that will allow him to focus attention on his responsibilities as municipal court judge for Franklin County without having to be concerned with other administrative responsibilities in other courts.
“I believe it to be a critically important role of the position to be proactive in establishing a fiscally responsible budget for the court each year,” he said. “The judge for Franklin County Municipal Court is tasked with more than just sitting on the bench and making decisions on cases.”
Franklin County Second District Commissioner Dave Hinson, St. Clair, has defeated three Republican opponents, paving the way for a second four-year term.
“I’m very grateful for the people who re-elected me,” Hinson said. “I look forward to four more years of making the county a better place to live, work and visit.”
Hinson, the incumbent, won 2,938 (47.1 percent) of the 6,226 votes cast by Second District voters.
Former Union City Administrator Russell Rost collected 1,899 votes for 30.5 percent; Franklin County Highway Department West District Supervisor Darren Walker, Sullivan, garnered 939 votes for 15.08 percent; and Mark Williams, Sullivan, received 450 votes, or 7.23 percent of the total ballots cast.
There is no Democratic opponent for Hinson in November, so this primary win seals his re-election bid.