Sutak Wins Nomination for Auditor

Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak on Tuesday earned his party’s nomination for the next four years in office.

Sutak overcame a Democratic primary challenge from Cindi Henry of St. Clairsville, defeating her by a 6,402 to 2,548 count.

Sutak, a Martins Ferry resident, became auditor when longtime county auditor Joseph Pappano retired last year.

Sutak thanked the voters, noting his experience helped him win the nomination.

Appointed to the position of Belmont County auditor after Pappano left the post, Sutak has spent 23 years working for the auditor’s office.

“The people just want someone who is a qualified, dedicated person with integrity,” he said.

Sutak holds a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from West Liberty University, as well as graduate work at the University of Dayton, all of which has prepared him to continue as auditor, he said.

“The main goal is to make sure tax dollars are spent the correct way and that nothing is wasted,” he said, adding that he has already cut the office’s budget by around 20 percent by not hiring someone for his previous position of deputy auditor.

In addition to those cuts, Sutak has upgraded the dog license fee process, which has saved the county money by cutting down on mailings. He also credits the creation of a direct deposit system for all political subdivisions as a way of cutting down on paper use, which costs the county a large amount of money every year.

Sutak said one thing he has been faced with as auditor is a slumping economy, something for which he is prepared.

“Funding has become stagnant,” he said.

“Everybody is in the same boat, and we are all just trying to hold our own. We want to be here to help as best we can and provide the best service for the citizens.”

The Belmont County Republican Party did not field an auditor candidate on the ballot.