With 20 percent of the vote in Jefferson County tallied as of 2 a.m. today, incumbent county Commissioner David Maple was leading in a race with Robert Steve Vukelic.
Maple had captured 5,078 votes, while Vukelic had 4,444.
Jefferson County elections officials had only counted and reported on absentee ballots as of 2 a.m. today.
In a second commission race, incumbent Thomas Gentile had 5,201 votes over Billy Petrella's 3,961.
Maple is a Republican while Vukelic won a tight primary race in May to be the Democrat party's nominee.
The main issue in this race is what happens if Vukelic wins. Vukelic was sentenced to six months in a federal prison in April 2001 after pleading guilty to having knowledge of a felony and not reporting it to authorities.
Vukelic was charged in connection with other federal indictments against employees and officials of the former North Ohio Valley Air Authority. Three former members of NOVAA pleaded guilty in federal court to charges they conspired to accept improper payments totaling about $170,000 from Vukelic to get a license for the demolition landfill and then hid the income from the Internal Revenue Service.
In the second commission race, Gentile is the Democrat nominee while Petrella filed as an independent.
Gentile said the oil and gas boom "has done a lot for a lot of people," not just landowners.
Petrella agreed that the community as a whole is benefiting, saying it's "an exciting time for us, we could be on the brink of something that could be very big for our community."
Voters also saw four school levies on the ballot. With only absentee ballots being recorded, the Buckeye Local School District was losing 578 votes for the levy to 1,116 votes against; the Edison Local School District was losing 655 votes for to 1,096 votes against; the Indian Creek Local School District levy was down 1,217 for to 1,720 against; and the Jefferson County JVS levy was losing 4,648 votes for the levy to 4,921 votes against.