Two vying for municipal judge’s post

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

UPPER SANDUSKY — Two Republican attorneys, James Gucker, 5855 Wyandot County Highway 2, McCutchenville, and James Ruhlen, 430 W. Johnson St., Upper Sandusky, will vie for their party’s nomination for judge of Upper Sandusky Municipal Court in the May 2 primary.

It is the only countywide race on the Wyandot County primary ballot.

Longtime Judge Thomas Osborn was not eligible for re-election because of age limits. State law prohibits judges from seeking a full six-year term once they turn 70 years old. They are allowed to finish a term, if elected prior to the age limit.

Full-time municipal court judges earn $125,850 this year, according to the state Supreme Court website. The annual salary for judges is split, with the local share $61,750 yearly, and the balance paid through a state Supreme Court appropriation.

The Republican Party nominee is currently unopposed in the general election. No Democrats filed by the recent deadline for candidacy petitions. Independent candidates have until May 1 to file for the Nov. 7 general election.

Gucker, 55, has served as acting Upper Sandusky Municipal Court judge in Osborn’s absence since 1998. He has a law office and owns Heritage Title Agency, both in Tiffin.

Ruhlen, 44, has a law office in Upper Sandusky.

In the fall general election, three candidates will compete for the Carey mayoral post. They are interim Mayor Jennifer Rathburn, 332 Maple Ave., an independent candidate who was council president; former Carey Law Director Robert Maison, 323 Lakeland Drive, a Republican who served more than 30 years; and Democrat John Green, 104 Beckwith Drive, also a former councilman, will vie to complete the unexpired Carey mayor’s term through December 2019.

Maison briefly served as mayor last year following the June death of Steve Smalley.

The mayor is paid $12,000 for the part-time position and serves a four-year term.

Mayor Armand Getz, who replaced Maison, announced in January he would not seek election to complete the term. Getz cited business and family considerations as reasons he decided to step aside.

Then in March, Getz announced he would resign, effective April 1, after council voted to supersede his decisions to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of council meetings. Getz is a former councilman and served as council president before being named mayor.

Rathburn then accepted the mayor’s position and led a moment of silence and the pledge during a council meeting earlier this month.

Three people filed for four seats on Carey Council, so there will be no competition in the primary. The candidates include two incumbents, Republican Robert Styer Jr. of 620 E. Findlay St., and Democrat Chase Fletcher of 307 W. North St. Republican James Knox of 400 Magnolia Lane also filed and is a candidate to fill Rathburn’s unexpired term through Dec. 31.

Councilman Chad Kin, a Republican, did not file petitions to run for re-election.

Four Republicans and one Democrat filed for four Upper Sandusky Council seats, so all will move on to the November general election.

The Republicans are Aaron Korte of 230 Maple Drive; incumbent Donald Spiegel of 470 N. Fourth St.; John Walker of 114 Westbrook Boulevard, Unit C; and incumbent Kenneth Wessler of 140 River’s Edge Lane. Incumbent Roxanna Karg, 1115 Edgewood Drive, was the only Democrat to file.

Council members are paid $5,000 a year and serve four-year terms.

In the May 2 primary, residents in a portion of Wyandot County will vote on a liquor license issue.

Residents of Upper Sandusky’s Precinct A will vote on whether to allow the sale of wine and mixed beverages from 10 a.m. to midnight on Sundays by Automated Petroleum, 402 N. Warpole St. The business is requesting a D-6 license for the carryout/grocery store.

A small portion of Wyandot County residents would have voted on renewal of a 1.3-mill continuing levy for Tri-Rivers Career Center, Marion, but the issue was pulled from the ballot, according to center personnel. The funds would be used for operating expenses.

The school district provides vocational classes for high school students in all or parts of seven counties: Wyandot, Hardin, Crawford, Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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