ELECTION 2023: Copas, Mathews certified as Hamilton School Board winners

Butler County Board of Elections said despite close race for second spot, an automatic recount is not warranted.

Incumbent ShaQuila Mathews has been re-elected to a second term to the Hamilton City Schools Board of Education, and newcomer Dr. Joseph Copas will begin his first term this January.

The Butler County Board of Elections certified the Nov. 7 election results on Tuesday, where four sought two seats on the school board. Copas was the top vote-getter, earning 30.35% of the vote, with Mathews earning 23.75%, according to the official results.

Candidates Robin Szary and Cameron Binegar earned 23.28% and 22.62%, respectively.

While Mathews and Szary’s vote totals are within a half-percent, an automatic recount is not triggered, county elections officials said. With Copas’ top spot not in jeopardy, election rules require his votes be removed from the automatic recount equation. Calculations among the three remaining candidates, Mathews’ margin of victory was greater than a half-percent.

“I’m glad this is finally behind,” said Mathews. “It’s definitely been tough from the standpoint of it being so close.”

But sticking to her faith, she believed she would secure that second position, a spot she held after unofficial election totals were counted on Nov. 7. Provisional and valid late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots were added during Tuesday’s official run of the election.

With the election over, Mathews hopes both Szary and Binegar will build on their campaign efforts and stay involved with the Hamilton City Schools in volunteer capacities.

“There are always ways and opportunities to support the board, to continue to be a part of this community, and all the great things that are happening,” Mathews said.

Copas told the Journal-News on Election Day he plans to get to work on day one.

“I would hope to maybe implement some policies that would change the culture in our district and maybe try to not only implement some policies but change some policies existing policies just create a better environment for our staff and ultimately have a positive effect on outcomes for our students.”

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