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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2004

Henry Co. contenders outline positions

NAPOLEON - A former Henry County commissioner is trying to win the GOP primary election next week against a 12-year county commissioner.

Jim Junge of Holgate, a commissioner for four years starting in 1985, is challenging Richard Bennett of Napoleon. No Democrats filed to run against the winner in November.

Mr. Junge, 52, pointed to his vast experience in government, including village council, as a reason he should be elected commissioner. He served for four years as Holgate s mayor, until he was defeated in the November, 2003, election. He works for Sears Auto Center in Defiance.

“I m not a stranger to that situation,” Mr. Junge said of the commissioner s job. “I can bring a lot more diverse background.”

If elected, Mr. Junge said he would focus his efforts on fostering cooperation and communication in the commissioner s office. Overseeing plans for a second Maumee River bridge in Napoleon also is a priority, he said.

A meeting was held this week in Napoleon to discuss the need to bring a second bridge to the area. Both candidates were in attendance.

Mr. Bennett, 55, is running for what would be his fourth, four-year term as commissioner. If re-elected, Mr. Bennett said he too would concentrate his efforts on the bridge issue and ensure that the county s emergency medical service is running at full strength, among other issues.

The commissioner, a former hog farmer who now runs a grain operation on his property, said he s proud of his years in office, especially his support of a major restoration effort at the county courthouse.

“I just have the experience to go along with the 12 years here,” Mr. Bennett said.

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