By ERIC SCHAADT
STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — Come Nov. 8, Wood County voters will settle races for county sheriff and common pleas court judge, as well as two county commissioner contests.

There also is a race for county treasurer, and a renewal levy for senior citizen services.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is facing a re-election challenge from a former sheriff’s deputy.

Wasylyshyn, 55, is in his third four-year term as sheriff. He is a Republican.

His challenger is Democrat Ruth Babel-Smith, 53, of Bowling Green. She is a retired deputy sheriff, having worked 25 years with all the divisions of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.

She is now an instructor and commander with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. She has not held elected public office.

The sheriff is paid $84,522 a year.

Two men are vying for the open post of common pleas court judge, a six-year term that pays $127,450 a year.

Democrat Steve Long, 52, of Perrysburg, is an attorney. He has not held elected public office.

Republican Matthew Reger, 48, of Bowling Green, is a Bowling Green municipal court prosecutor.

He also has not held elected public office.

The winner will succeed Judge Robert Pollex, who did not seek re-election.

Two separate commissioner races are on the ballot.

Democrat Edward Kolanko, 43, of Walbridge, is challenging incumbent Republican Craig LaHote, 57, of Perrysburg.

Kolanko is in his fourth year as mayor of Walbridge, and previously served six years on that Village Council.

He is a financial adviser with Allstate Financial.

LaHote was appointed as commissioner in July 2015. He previously served as a Perrysburg Township trustee.

He provides part-time business consulting services, and occasionally teaches part-time at Owens Community College.

In the other commissioner contest, incumbent Democrat Joel Kuhlman, 35, of Bowling Green, is competing with Republican Ted Bowlus, 67, of Pemberville.

Kuhlman has been commissioner since February 2012 and is an attorney.

He has served on the Wood County Board of Education and Bowling Green City Council.

Bowlus is a doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery in Perrysburg. He is a member of the Eastwood school board.

Wood County commissioners serve four-year terms and are paid a yearly salary of $65,620, according to the Wood County Auditor’s Office.

Separately, Wood County Treasurer Jill Engle is not seeking re-election to another four-year term.

Seeking to replace her are Democrat Jason Hartigan, 32, of Perrysburg, and Republican Jane Spoerl, 56, of Weston.

Hartigan is a business analyst with the Bowling Green State University student financial aid department. He has not held elected public office.

Spoerl has been a business and retail banker for 35 years, and is a currently a financial planner. She also has not held elected office.

In the lone countywide tax issue, the Wood County Committee on Aging is asking voters to renew a 0.7-mill levy for five years.

The auditor’s office said the levy generates $1.9 million a year. A person with a house appraised at $100,000 pays $19.31 a year.

The agency’s services include adult day care, meals, health screening, transportation and tax assistance.

Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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