The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

December 3, 2010

Recount verifies Casey Kozlowski victory over Deborah Newcomb

JEFFERSON — One month after Election Day 2010, Casey Kozlowski now officially can be called state representative-elect to the Ohio House’s 99th District.

A two-day recount, finalized Thursday morning, confirmed the 23-year-old Republican’s victory over incumbent State Rep. Deborah Newcomb, D-Conneaut. Newcomb picked up one vote, shrinking Kozlowski’s winning margin to 42 votes.

The final tally gives Kozlowski 13,040 votes, while Newcomb earned 12,998 votes, said Duane Feher, director of the Ashtabula County Board of Elections. Independent Tammy Roesch collected 5,846 votes, Feher said. Numbers include the portion of Trumbull County that falls in the 99th District.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office ordered a recount because the certified results were separated by less than one half of 1 percent.

Kozlowski, a Pymatuning Valley Board of Education member, was happy the count was completed in his favor.

“It’s a big relief,” he said Thursday. “I was going into (the recount) with some confidence, but you never know. I’m certainly pleased with the outcome.”

Newcomb, a former Ashtabula County commissioner, was disappointed but not devastated.

“Life goes on,” she said Thursday.

Much of the recount was completed late Thursday night, Feher said.

Kozlowski, who will take his oath of office next month, said a study of the state budget is atop his must-do list.

“That will be the first issue to be discussed,” he said.

A series of public meetings could be held to give residents a chance to discuss priorities, Kozlowski said.

“Town-hall meetings would help bring issues to the forefront,” he said.

Newcomb said she expects action this month on bills she has sponsored or endorsed, including one that would repeal of late fees charged Ohio motorists who fail to get car tags in a timely fashion.

“Hopefully, a lot of bills will be satisfied,” she said. “There are a few votes that are important.”

Newcomb also said she plans to continue her work as an advocate on senior-citizen issues. Beyond that, she has no immediate plans.

“It’s always been a privilege to serve the people of the area,” she said. “But it’s time to do something different.”

In related news, the Ohio Elections Commission has postponed a hearing on a complaint Newcomb filed last month against Kozlowski, which alleged he put false and misleading information in his political fliers and advertising. A probable-cause hearing, originally set for Thursday, has been moved to February 2011, said Nicholas Iarocci of Conneaut, Newcomb’s attorney.

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