Goheen happy for ‘nerve-wracking’ win
RIDGEWAY – Mark Goheen didn’t go to the Board of Elections today when elections officials spent three hours opening and counting absentee ballots in four close races in Orleans County.
Goheen, the Ridgeway highway superintendent, preferred to spend the morning working on projects as highway superintendent. Goheen started the day eights votes behind Ray Wendling, 570 to 562.
But when 40 absentees were tabulated late in the morning, Goheen ended up the victor, 591-581. He received 29 of the absentees to 11 for Wendling.
“It’s been awful the past week,” Goheen said about the very tight race and the prospect of being out a job. “It’s nerve-wracking, and it’s been hard on my family and the people I work with.”
Goheen topped Wendling, an employee in the Medina Department of Public Works, in the Republican Primary. But Wendling kept up a vigorous campaign, running on the Conservative line and the independent Ridgeway Peoples Party.
“I’m extremely disappointed, but I’m extremely proud that I ran a positive campaign and ran with integrity,” Wendling said after the results were announced at about noon. “I just want to thank the Ridgeway and Medina voters for their support.”
Goheen is finishing his first term as highway chief. When he was contacted by phone this afternoon, he was on Rutherford Road, helping a resident with a water issue.
Goheen said he is thankful he can keep a job that allows him to work with the public.
“You get to do something different every day,” he said. “You’re helping people out with their roads, ditches and water. I want to thank my family and friends for getting behind me.”