Longtime Commissioner Coffland Unseated
Belmont County voters on Tuesday unseated a longtime commissioner who was seeking his third term in office this election.
Incumbent Democrat Matt Coffland was defeated by Republican Josh Meyer in his bid to retain his seat. Meyer received 14,988 votes, while Coffland garnered 14,880, according to unofficial vote totals.
Coffland said he wanted to thank the residents of the county for allowing him to serve them for three decades.
“I want to thank all the residents for a great 30 years of public service — and good luck,” Coffland said.
Meyer could not be reached for comment at press time. Meyer, a Bellaire councilman, previously said he was concerned about the history of one-party rule in the county. Born in Bellaire and raised in St. Clairsville, Meyer, 40, is married and the father of three boys, as well as stepfather to his wife’s two children.
Meyer is a 1993 graduate of a small Christian high school in Bethesda and a graduate of the Ohio Valley Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology in 2004. He is employed at East Ohio Regional Hospital as an X-ray/CT technologist.
During this election, Coffland, a Shadyside resident, was seeking his third term in office. During his campaign, he cited his past successes, especially in economic development and job creation.
Coffland noted his past accomplishments included his involvement in attracting the proposed ethane cracker plant to Dilles Bottom. He served as the initial lead representative for the commissioners and has been an integral part of discussions with the plant’s ownership. The plant would use the byproducts from the region’s natural gas pockets used in manufacturing various products, primarily for the plastics industry.
Coffland has been active in road improvements within the county including his work with the Ohio Department of Transportation that has contributed to the St. Clairsville Commons project including the installation of an Interstate 70 interchange at the Ohio Valley Mall, safety upgrades at the intersection of I-470 and Ohio 7, lane addition to I-70 exit 208 near Morristown and upgrades to Ohio 331.