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Coin Flip Determines Winner Of Trustee Race

January 4, 1990

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) _ For the second time in four years, a coin toss decided a deadlocked election for a trustee seat.

The coin toss Tuesday at the Mahoning County Board of Elections was a repeat of the election four years ago involving the same men. The results were the same both times for Robert Spencer, who lost to Bruce Behner when he picked tails in a coin flip that came up heads.

Behner will serve another four-year term as a trustee of rural Goshen Township in northeastern Ohio.

″This is unbelievable ... twice in four years,″ said Spencer, 40, a bus salesman at Myers Equipment Corp. ″Son of a gun, what can I say?″

The coin toss was needed after Behner, 53, a hog farmer, paid $50 for a recount after close balloting in November. He was a write-in candidate for one of two trustee seats open after he failed to correctly file petitions for re- election.

The recount showed Behner had 261 votes to Spencer’s 271. John Heffner was the top vote-getter with 307 votes.

There were 10 disputed ballots where Behner’s name was written in but the oval next to it was not blackened, as required by law. A ruling by Ohio Secretary of State Sherrod Brown gave the ballots to Behner, ending the election in a tie.

Behner said he was glad to keep the job, which pays a maximum of $5,600 per year.

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