Races, issues set for primary ballot

By DENISE GRANT
STAFF WRITER

Former Hancock County Commissioner Steve Oman wants his old job back, and will challenge Commissioner Phillip Riegle in the Republican primary in May.

State Sen. Cliff Hite will have competition in the primary, too.

Several tax issues will also appear on the Hancock County ballot, including the renewal of a 5.9-mill operating levy for Findlay Schools, and a levy renewal for the Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Oman entered the commissioner race on Tuesday, when candidacy petitions were filed on his behalf at the Hancock County Board of Elections.

Oman, of 13123 Hancock County 9, is a farmer. He served two terms as a commissioner before losing his seat to Ed Ingold in 2004. He has tried twice before to get it back. He ran for an open commissioner seat in 2006, losing to Riegle. He then challenged Commissioner Emily Walton in the 2008 primary election and lost.

Riegle, of 22525 Township 184, Arlington, is finishing his second, four-year term as a commissioner. He has served with both Ingold and Walton.

The filing deadline for candidates and ballot issues for the May 6 primary was 4 p.m. Thursday in Hancock County. It was delayed by one day due to bad weather.

State Sen. Hite, R-Findlay, will face two Republican challengers in May: Milo Schaffner of 1625 Wetzel Road, Van Wert, and Corey Shankleton of 104 Church Street, Kunkle.

Hite, of 2417 Westmoor Road, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of state Sen. Steve Buehrer in early 2011, after Buehrer was named administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by Gov. John Kasich. Hite was then elected to a term that ends Dec. 31, 2014.

Hite is a former state representative and teacher at Findlay High School.

Schaffner was elected in November to his fourth, four-year term as trustee for Hoaglin Township in Van Wert County. He served for eight years on the Lincolnview local school board in Van Wert County from 1984 to 1992. He has worked as a tool and die maker and vocational teacher. He is also a small business owner and farmer.

Information on Shankleton was not available Thursday.

State Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, will face no challengers in the primary, but will apparently have a Libertarian opponent in the fall election.

Sprague, a former Findlay city auditor, was appointed to the Ohio House seat in February 2011, succeeding Hite. Sprague, of 830 S. Main St., was elected to a full term in the Ohio House in November 2012. He is seeking a second, two-year term.

Gregory Norris, of 210 Miami Road, Rushsylvania, will be unopposed in his bid for the Libertarian nomination. He has served in the Army National Guard both part time and full time, and has worked several years in the automotive business and in the state prison system.

Candidates for Hancock County auditor and three judge positions will not be challenged in the primary.

Republican Auditor Charity Rauschenberg, of 15943 Wolf Run, is seeking a third term. She was first appointed to the office for two years in 2004.

Kristen Johnson, also a Republican, filed for the judge position in Hancock County Common Pleas Court, Probate and Juvenile Division. Johnson has served as a magistrate for the court since 2010.

Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Allan Davis, a Republican who was first elected in 1974, will not be eligible to run again due to state age limitations for judges.

Joseph Niemeyer, Hancock County Common Pleas Court judge, is seeking a fifth, six-year term as judge.

A Republican, Niemeyer was first elected to the bench in 1990.

Vernon L. Preston, a judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeals, Lima, will also be unchallenged in his bid for re-election. A Republican, Preston was first appointed by Gov. Bob Taft to the bench in 2006.

There will be competition for State Central Committee seats in the 1st Senate District, which includes Hancock County. The Republican and Democratic parties each have a State Central Committee. A man and a woman are elected to each committee in each Ohio Senate district.

The central committees help coordinate political activity for the parties, and are responsible for events like voter registration drives, voter outreach at public events, fundraising, election year activities, and picking a replacement should an elected official in their party be unable to finish a term.

Competing for the Republican woman’s committee seat in the 1st District will be incumbent Cheryl Buckland, 1413 Forest Park, Findlay, and challengers Julia Horton, 702 Hickory Lane, Delta, and Joan Zimmerly, 11153 Sun Set Drive, Ottawa.

For the Republican man’s committee seat, incumbent Frank Guglielmi, 332 Pheasant Run Place, Findlay, is being challenged by James Horton, 702 Hickory Lane, Delta.

Brenda Griffith of 1216 Magnolia, Defiance, who holds the 1st District woman’s seat for the Democratic Party, will be unchallenged.

Two Democrats will compete for the man’s position. Incumbent Charles R. Gray, 833 E. Second St., Defiance, is being challenged by Jeffrey S. Detmer, 731 Lincolnshire Lane, Findlay.

An assortment of tax issues also will appear on the May ballot in Hancock County:
• Findlay Schools — renewal of a 5.9-mill tax levy for current expenses. The district is asking voters to renew the levy on a continuing basis, which would make it permanent.
• Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities — renewal of a 2.5-mill levy for five years. The money is needed for the county’s programs for residents with developmental disabilities.
• McComb Schools — renewal of a 0.5 percent income tax for five years. The money is needed to pay for current operating expenses.
• Ada Schools — renewal of a 2.9-mill permanent improvement levy for five years.
• Appleseed Joint Ambulance District — replacement of a 0.6-mill levy for five years. The money is needed to provide ambulance and emergency medical service.
• Arcadia Schools — renewal of a 1 percent income tax for five years. The money is used for operating expenses.
• Bluffton Schools — a renewal and increase of a 4.9-mill operating levy for five years.
• Hardin Northern Public Library — additional 0.5-mill levy for five years to pay for operating expenses.
• Union Township — additional 1.5-mill levy for five years to pay for fire protection.
• Van Buren School District — 6.9-mill bond issue, commencing in 2014, for 37 years. The money would be used to build and furnish classrooms and a gymnasium.

Grant: 419-427-8412
Send an E-mail to Denise Grant
Twitter: @CourierDenise

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