Messer and Ross confident of victory

Voters turn out at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center to cast their ballots. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

Election day in Stark County witnessed a great turn-out of in-person voters who set to the task of casting their vote for District 5 Commissioner. Candidates Neal Messer and Leslie Ross already squared-off once during the primaries where Messer led Ross by 910 votes — though the turn-out was 4,379 votes shy of the expected general election turn-out, leaving room for Ross to close the gap.

“What I am excited about is the fact that even during these extreme conditions that we, one, had to campaign under, and two, we had to vote under, we have still managed to get out there and vote,” Ross said. “ That is awesome and it doesn’t matter which side that you’re voting for. We have people that are actually engaged in the process. And that makes me very happy.”

Messer credited the community for their participation in the early election and exercising their constitutional right to vote.

“(The people) know what they want, they do research and especially on the national level,” Messer said. “Our local people know we need to keep going, and not go backwards and totally turn the direction of our country around. I think it’s a positive sign that so many people are getting involved in voting and doing all those kinds of things.”

After weeks and weeks of tireless campaigning, numerous conversations with the public and social media posts sharing their message with Stark County, both Messer and Ross feel they are in a good position to become the District 5 Commissioner on Election night.


“We’re excited, we feel pretty good with where we’re at,” Messer said. “We’ve worked hard, we tried to do everything right. We’ve done pretty much an issues oriented, positive campaign and so we feel pretty good with however (the results) turn out.”

Ross shared a similar type of confidence based on her attempts of campaigning to the people of Stark County.

“I have run a good campaign, I believe I have informed the voters as well as I can,” Ross said. “I feel pretty confident. You never really know until it’s over.”

With many Stark County residents already casting their vote, the balance rests with those heading to the polls today.

“I have been a lifetime, faithful servant, I’ve been a servant leader all my life. And I would like to continue in that role,” she said. “If you were to compare the two candidates side-by-side, you will see that I have done everything for Stark County that I possibly can do with my time and I would like to continue that on a grander scale and represent the voters the way that they should be represented.”

As for Messer, he is confident that the people of Stark County will make the decision to vote for him based on his efforts of meeting with hundreds of members of the community throughout his campaign.

“We’ve worked very hard to get our message out, we’ve met with a ton of different groups and people, boards, committees, and they’ve been very good about asking questions and letting their thoughts and issues and various issues be known,” he said. “We’re happy with where we’re at.”

Messer is projected to win according to election week polling.


Follow breaking election results at , or by following our social media accounts @thedickinsonpress on Facebook and Twitter.

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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