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Published: Wednesday, 3/3/2004

Incumbents, challengers confront little opposition


The main idea of primary elections is to allow voters in both political parties to reduce the field of candidates in each race to one, setting the stage for a November general election that pits the strongest Republican and Democratic candidates against each other.

But in most cases, incumbents and notable challengers faced no opposition in yesterday s election.

Marcy Kaptur, the 11-term Toledo congressman from Ohio s 9th District, won the Democratic Party nomination again without contest.

Just to the south in the 5th Congressional District, Republican Paul Gillmor also faced no opposition. Neither did Robin Weirauch, the Democrat who will oppose him in the general election.

In the 4th District, both incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Oxley and his Democratic opponent, lawyer Ben Konop, had unopposed free rides yesterday.

Locally, a lack of contested primaries made for a slow election yesterday. Lucas County commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak was uncontested yesterday, but she will face Republican state Rep. Lynn Olman in the fall. Mr. Olman was also uncontested yesterday.

Democrat Peter Gerken appeared alone on Democratic ballots and won the party s nomination for the second county commission seat on the ballot this year. He will run in November against incumbent Commissioner Harry Barlos, who filed Monday to run for re-election as an independent.

Mr. Gerken won the Democratic Party s endorsement for the race in a bitter battle that continues to this day.

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