Randy Burnworth will take the bench as Washington County's Judge of the Common Pleas Court in January, according to final but unofficial results from Tuesday's 2012 general election.
Burnworth maintained an approximate 3 percent lead over challenger Mark Kerenyi throughout the evening, ending with a total of 12,597 votes over Kerenyi's 11,397.
"I'm honored that the voters chose me to represent them as judge, but I think the best thing is that we both ran positive, clean campaigns," Burnworth said. "We agreed to do that from the start and we did it."
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Randy Burnworth and wife Becca Johnson react to the news that Burnworth was elected as Washington County’s Judge of the Common Pleas Court following Tuesday’s general election at the county courthouse
He will take over the bench from current Judge Susan Boyer who retires on Dec. 31.
Kerenyi said he felt he made a good showing for his initial bid for public office.
"This was my first election, and we stayed hopefully optimistic all day," he said. "But I gave it my best shot. Win or lose I feel great about our campaign and am especially proud of our team."
At a glance
Final but unofficial results of the Washington County Judge of the Common Pleas Court race:
Randy Burnworth-12,597 votes; 52.5 percent.
Mark Kerenyi-11,397 votes; 47.5 percent.
Source: Washington County Board of Elections.
Boyer said she was pleased about how well the race was run by both candidates.
"I thought it was a really good, above-board and clean race," she said. "Negative campaigning is bad for the candidates, the election and the entire community."
Molly Varner, chairwoman of the Washington County Democratic Party, said she felt Burnworth's experience as a magistrate and mediator in the common pleas court over the last few years played a big part in his election.
"There's also a lot of name recognition for the Burnworth name," she said. "His dad was mayor of Marietta, and his mother had been county chair of the Democratic Party. And Randy has been personally involved and contributed to many efforts benefiting the community."
Kerenyi is the Magistrate of Washington County Court of Common Pleas Probate and Juvenile Division, and Burnworth is the Magistrate of Washington County Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations.
Kerenyi said he will continue his work with Judge Tim Williams in the probate and juvenile division, but hasn't scrapped plans for another run for office in the future.
"This won't be my last race," he said.