By ERIC SCHAADT
BOWLING GREEN — The Wood County sheriff was re-elected Tuesday while an incumbent county commissioner was defeated, according to unofficial totals provided by the Wood County Board of Elections.
Vote totals include absentee ballots.
County voters also approved the renewal of a levy for senior citizen services, and elected a new common pleas court judge and county treasurer.
Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn outdistanced a former deputy, Democrat Ruth Babel-Smith, by a vote of 39,051 (65 percent) to 21,114 (35 percent).
Wasylyshyn, 55, a Republican, is in his third four-year term as sheriff.
Babel-Smith, 53, of Bowling Green, is a retired deputy sheriff, having worked 25 years with all the divisions of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.
In the race for common pleas court judge, Republican Matthew Reger, 48, of Bowling Green, outpaced Democrat Steve Long, 52, of Perrysburg, by 27,833 to 17,999 (61 percent to 39 percent).
Reger is a Bowling Green municipal court prosecutor. Long is an attorney.
Reger will succeed Judge Robert Pollex, who did not seek re-election to a six-year term.
Two separate county commissioner races were settled Tuesday.
In one commissioner contest, incumbent Democrat Joel Kuhlman, 35, of Bowling Green, was ousted by Republican Ted Bowlus, 67, of Pemberville.
Bowlus collected 30,274 votes to 27,340 for Kuhlman (53 percent to 47 percent).
Kuhlman has been commissioner since February 2012.
Bowlus is a doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery in Perrysburg. He is a member of the Eastwood school board.
In the other commissioner contest, Democrat Edward Kolanko, 43, of Walbridge, was defeated by incumbent Republican Craig LaHote, 57, of Perrysburg, by a margin of 32,989 to 24,380 (58 percent to 42 percent).
LaHote was appointed as commissioner in July 2015. He previously served as a Perrysburg Township trustee.
He provides part-time business consulting services, and teaches part-time at Owens Community College.
Kolanko is in his fourth year as mayor of Walbridge.
Wood County commissioners serve four-year terms.
Voters also picked Jane Spoerl, 56, of Weston, as county treasurer.
She garnered 34,518 votes to 22,006 for Democrat Jason Hartigan, 32, of Perrysburg (61 percent to 39 percent).
Spoerl, a Republican, has been a business and retail banker for 35 years, and is a currently a financial planner. She has not previously held elected office.
Treasurer Jill Engle is not seeking re-election to another four-year term.
In the only countywide tax issue, the Wood County Committee on Aging received approval for renewal of a 0.7-mill levy for five years. The vote was 46,428 for and 14,760 against (76 percent to 24 percent).
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.
National, state races
Here’s how Wood County voted in the presidential, U.S. Senate, and Ohio Supreme Court races:
President: Republican Donald Trump, 31,734 votes; Democrat Hillary Clinton, 26,440 votes; Libertarian Gary Johnson, 3,133; Green Party candidate Jill Stein, 642; independent Richard Duncan, 338.
U.S. senator: Republican Rob Portman, 36,746 votes; Democrat Ted Strickland, 21,594 votes; Green Party candidate Joseph DeMare, 1,364; independent Tom Connors, 913; independent Scott Rupert, 844.
Ohio Supreme Court justice:
First seat: Republican Pat Fischer, 22,181 votes; Democrat John O’Donnell, 22,505 votes.
Second seat: Democrat Cynthia Rice, 19,793 votes; Republican Pat DeWine, 28,624 votes.
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