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Published: Thursday, 3/4/2004

New faces fill list of primary winners


BOWLING GREEN - Mark Wasylyshyn campaigned on the premise that Wood County needed a change in its sheriff s office, and voters apparently felt the same way.

By a 55-vote margin, three-term Sheriff John Kohl was unseated by Mr. Wasylyshyn in Tuesday s Republican primary. No Democrat or independent candidate filed for the general election in November.

While a recount seems likely, Mr. Wasylyshyn (pronounced va-si-li-shin) credited his door-to-door efforts and the work of his campaign committee for getting his message out to the public.

“Any one of the people on my committee can say, Yeah, I got Mark those 55 votes because it s true,” he said yesterday before reporting for his afternoon shift as a Perrysburg police sergeant.

Sergeant Wasylyshyn, 42, who lives in rural Bowling Green, said he thinks voters responded to a forward-thinking voice of change.

He plans to do things differently, he said, from hiring and promoting all employees - including those currently appointed by the sheriff - through a formal process of written exams and interviews.

He said he thinks Sheriff Kohl, 60, focused more on what he had done in the past and what can t be done in the future because of budgetary constraints.

Sheriff Kohl was not in the office yesterday and did not return telephone calls.

In Hancock County, incumbent county commissioner Steve Oman lost by more than 1,000 votes to fellow Republican Edward Ingold. Mr. Ingold, who has no opponent in November, said he too thinks residents were ready for a change.

With countywide budget problems and other conflicts in the last few years, he said he thinks voters are tired of the bickering between the various county officials and departments.

“I think everyone just wanted to take a new direction,” Mr. Ingold said yesterday.

Another newcomer, Emily Anne Walton, received the Republican nod for the commissioner s seat held by Virginia Clymer, who did not seek re-election. Dr. Walton will be challenged by two Independent candidates who filed on Monday, James Routson and Christopher Cox, both of Findlay.

In Erie County, Tygh Tone, who upset Common Pleas Judge Ann Maschari in the Democratic primary, noted that more than 13,000 ballots were cast in the race, about twice the number who voted in the last Democratic primary in 2002. Mr. Tone won 53.5 percent of the vote.

“I took on an incumbent who was in her third term, with a lot of name recognition,” he said. “The undecided vote and the crossover vote, I think, put me over the edge.”

In his campaign, Mr. Tone focused on the backlog of cases in Judge Maschari s court, especially in the civil division.

Judge Maschari, who was seeking a fourth six-year term, did not return phone calls yesterday.

Mr. Tone will almost certainly be elected to the judgeship in November, because there is no Republican candidate. Sandusky attorney Timothy Dempsey filed to run as an independent but had indicated that he would withdraw if Mr. Tone won the primary race. Mr. Dempsey could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Tone lives in Huron and practices with a Sandusky law firm. He has been assistant law director for the city of Sandusky four years, prosecuting criminal cases. Before that, he worked for former Lucas County Prosecutor Tony Pizza and was a clerk for retired Judge Melvin Resnick of Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Voters in Seneca County turned out incumbents in two primary elections for Seneca County commissioner.

Republican David Sauber easily beat two opponents - incumbent Jimmie Young and Herbert Faber - in the GOP primary. Mr. Sauber, a construction worker for E.S. Wagner, of Oregon, and a former business owner in Tiffin, will be opposed this fall by Democrat David Gross, a Tiffin firefighter who won a three-way race. “The people are tired of the commissioners not focusing on where we re going,” Mr. Sauber said.

In races for the other seat, Tiffin firefighter Ben Nutter ousted Commissioner Tom Distel in the Democratic primary, while accountant Charles Ardner bested two other candidates to win the GOP primary. “Basically, I just think it was because of my accounting background,” Mr. Ardner said of his victory. He said he believes his occupation signaled financial accountability to the voters.

Both incumbents said lingering voter anger over a 0.5-percent sales tax, imposed last year by the commissioners led to their defeat. “The tax was the whole thing,” Mr. Distel said. “Somebody has to make the decision, and we were the ones.”

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