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Published: Wednesday, 7/26/2006

Dems choose Myers for Henry County race

NAPOLEON - Rich Myers, a township trustee, farmer, and founding member of a software concern, was chosen last night as the Democratic nominee for the Henry County commissioner's seat vacated by Steve Baden, who left in disgrace in May.

The 21 members present of the county Democratic Central Committee voted unanimously to place Mr. Myers on the ballot for the remaining two years of Baden's term.

Mr. Myers was the party's candidate for a four-year commissioner term on the ballot, but he withdrew to vie for the unexpired term, said Linda Howe, party chairman.

At least two others contemplated asking for the central committee's appointment. They did not follow through when they learned that Mr. Myers was to seek the ballot spot.

Four members of the central committee were not present, and there are four vacancies on the committee, Ms. Howe said.

The choice of Mr. Myers leaves a vacancy on the ballot for the four-year commissioner's term. The central committee will be accepting resumes and will meet Aug. 9 to make a selection, Ms. Howe said.

That seat is now held by Rita Franz. Candidates on the ballot so far are Thomas Von Deylen, the Republican nominee, and James Junge, an independent.

Mr. Myers served two terms as a trustee in Henry County's Washington Township and has worked for the state of Ohio in personal property and income tax areas.

He has a farming partnership, J.R. Farms, and is a founding member of Liberty Software Systems, which specializes in financial software for agribusiness. He was a former general manager of Myers Crop Center Inc.

He is a lay leader and trustee at Colton United Methodist Church and is a high school football referee.

On the general election ballot, Mr. Myers will face the GOP nominee, Colleen Phillips, whom the Republicans appointed to Baden's seat after he resigned May 18.

On the day he resigned, Baden entered an Alford plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to one count of attempted menacing by stalking, a fifth-degree felony.

He was accused of chasing a then-14-year-old girl in South Toledo.

Mrs. Phillips was the commissioners' operations coordinator for 5 1/2 years before she was laid off in a round of December budget cuts following a county sales tax repeal.

She and Mr. Myers also will face Robert Moyers, who is running as an independent write-in candidate for the seat.



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