By JIM MAURER
While there are two contested races for Hancock County positions in Tuesday’s primary, most candidates for county offices are unopposed this spring.
Independent candidates who wish to be on the Nov. 3 general election ballot have until 4 p.m. Monday, the day before the primary, to file petitions, according to the Hancock County Board of Elections.
Incumbent county elected officials who are unopposed include:
• Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Starn, 119 Second St., Findlay, six-year term. Starn is completing an unexpired term through Dec. 31, 2020, following the retirement of Judge Joseph Niemeyer.
• Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Kristen K. Johnson, 3338 Ridgeview Drive, Findlay, six-year term. Johnson was unopposed in 2014 to replace longtime Judge Alan H. Davis.
The judges’ annual salary will be $152,811. The salary is set by the state and may change depending on the 2020 census. A majority of the judge’s salary is paid by the state, with the remainder paid by the county.
• Prosecutor Phillip Riegle, 22525 Township Road 184, Arlington, four-year term. In 2016, Riegle, 42, was in his second term as county commissioner when he filed as an unopposed write-in candidate for the prosecutor’s job. The prosecutor’s annual salary will be $145,603 in 2021.
• Clerk of Courts Cathy Wilcox, 430 Prentiss Ave., Findlay, four-year term. Wilcox, 52, has been clerk of courts since January 1998. Her annual salary will be $65,813, effective Jan. 2.
• Recorder Tracy Coldren, 7923 Township Road 237, Findlay, four-year term. Coldren, 51, was elected in 2016 to replace Nikki Beltz, who retired. Her annual salary will be $62,090, effective Jan. 2.
• Treasurer J. Steve Welton, 625 W. Circle Drive, Findlay, four-year term. Welton, 74, is completing his fourth four-year term. His annual salary is $58,668 through Sept. 5, 2021, when it increases to $65,813.
• Coroner Dr. Mark Fox, 8378 Lakewood, Findlay, four-year term. Fox is completing his third four-year term. His salary will be $50,912 annually as coroner and he will maintain a private practice.
• Engineer Douglas E. Cade, of 14815 County Road 60, Findlay, four-year term. Cade, 49, is completing an unexpired term through Dec. 31, replacing Christopher Long. His salary will be $111,525 annually.
All are Republicans. No Democrats have filed for any of these offices.
Contested races are the Republican nomination for Hancock County sheriff in which incumbent Sheriff Michael Heldman is opposed by challengers Tim Saltzman and Verl Warnimont; and the Republican nomination for the Hancock County commissioner’s seat being vacated by Brian Robertson, who is not seeking re-election. Candidates are William L. Bateson, 20368 Township Road 68, Arlington; Miranda M. Lobdell, 4874 Township Road 230, Findlay; and Michael Recker, 8200 Hancock County 248, Findlay. The nominee will face Democrat Ronald L. DeCooman, 4251 County Road 236, Arcadia, in November.
Candidates for the commissioner’s seat being vacated by Mark Gazarek seat are unopposed in the primary, but Republican nominee Mike Pepple, 65, of 13097 Township Road 37, Findlay, and Democrat Bruce Workman, 66, of 1407 Fleetwood Ave., Findlay, will compete in November.