When voters in three Monroe County townships head to the polls next month to choose their township board members, they'll only have a limited number of candidates from which to choose because the majority of races in Summerfield, Whiteford, and Monroe Charter townships have only one candidate.
Still, the remaining races on those township slates should give voters the opportunity to at least influence the direction their townships will go for the next four years, and who will help them survive the many challenges each faces, such as declining state revenue sharing payments and road concerns.
Summerfield Township may have the most interesting race. It is where longtime Democratic township supervisor Zelda Lucas, 70, of Todd Road, Petersburg, finds herself facing a challenge from Republican Kevin Iott, 44, of Sylvania-Petersburg Road.
Republican township clerk Tammy Bleashka, 41, of Todd Road, and treasurer Joan Wiederhold, 60, of Rauch Road, are unopposed next month, while three newcomers square off for the Summerfield Township Board's two open trustee seats. Republicans Mark Strahan, 48, of Payne Road, and Dale Wagenknecht, 75, of Summerfield Road, and Democrat James Seegert, 72, of Summerfield Road, will vie for the two seats.
Monroe Charter Township has three Democratic incumbents, supervisor Alan Barron, 50, of Jonathon Road, clerk Bob Schnurr, 43, of Mulhollen Drive, and treasurer Pat Kegerreis, 62, Venetian Drive, Monroe, without opposition next month.
The only race is for the township board's four trustee seats, where three incumbent Democrats, Richard Janssens, 69, of West Albain Road, Patricia Littrell, 58, of Lincoln Road, and Richard Wilson, 77, of Brentwood Road, and the incumbent Republican, Brian Merkle, 26, of Vineyard Drive are trying to keep their seats. They are facing challenges in the open race from Democrat Penny Barton, 53, of Roseland Avenue, and David Mushung, 65, of Cricket Lane.
Whiteford Township voters, meanwhile, will see some familiar names on their local ballot, even if they're not in familiar places on the ballot Nov. 2.
Republican Supervisor Pamela Dressel, 60, of U.S. 223, and treasurer Robert Dickerson, 69, of Warren Road, each are unopposed, as is Democratic trustee Bernice Heidelberg, 49, of West Erie Road, who is making her first bid for township clerk.
But there is a four-way race for the two trustee seats on the township board which pits incumbent Democrat Larraine Dressel, 55, of West Samaria Road, against longtime Republican township clerk Leroy Bunge, 80, of Consear Road, fellow Republican Douglas Cassada, 68, of West Section Road, and independent Donald Sahloff, 63, of Whiteford Road.