FREMONT - Sandusky County voters will be able to vote in several contested judicial races in next week's primary election.
In one race for Common Pleas Court judge, Republicans John Dewey and Jon Ickes are facing off. The winner will challenge Democrat Norman Solze in November. The seat is open because Judge Harry Sargeant is retiring.
Mr. Dewey, 61, of Clyde, is one of two county court judges in Sandusky County. He is also in private practice as an attorney with his brother, Tom, in the firm of Dewey and Dewey.
"I've been practicing law and judging since 1972. I feel I'm qualified [to be a judge]," Mr. Dewey said. Mr. Ickes, 41, of Fremont, a lawyer in private practice, said he is seeking the seat because he has had administrative experience working for county child support agencies. He said he also is qualified because he has been a lawyer for more than 15 years, handling both civil and criminal cases.
"I believe that I would be the best person for the job," Mr. Ickes said.
In another race for Common Pleas Court judge, Republicans Barbara Ansted, Timothy Braun, and Cynthia Ann Doss are all trying to win the primary contest. The victor will go on to the November election against Democrat Roger Hafford.
The race will decide the replacement for Judge James Sherck, who is retiring.
Ms. Ansted, 58, of Lindsey, who has been a lawyer nearly 30 years, is the family mediator for the court systems in Sandusky and Ottawa counties. She previously worked as an assistant prosecutor and acting judge in Woodville.
She said she believes she is the most qualified because she has the most varied experience, having handled domestic, civil, and criminal cases.
Ms. Doss, 45, of Fremont, has been practicing law for more than five years. Prior to that, she worked as a nurse. In her private law practice, she handles civil, criminal, domestic relations, and juvenile cases, she said.
"I believe I would be able to help people through any type of court process, especially our victims," she said. "I don't believe our victims have enough voice in our courts."
Mr. Braun, 48, of Fremont, is a Lucas County senior assistant prosecutor. After working as a prosecutor for 20 years in both Lucas and Franklin counties, he is particularly proud of his conviction rate and the work he has done on "cold" cases.
"I've gotten to the point in my career where I'm ready to move up to the next level," he said. Voters also can weigh in on a third judicial contest between Republicans Brad Smith and Barry Bova for the Juvenile and Probate Common Pleas Court seat currently held by Judge R. Bradford Culbert.
There is no Democrat in the race. Judge Culbert is running in November as an independent.
Mr. Smith, 38, of Fremont, is a lawyer in private practice and is in his third term as a county commissioner. If he wins the general election, he will resign his commissioner's seat, he said. He has served as assistant law director for the city of Fremont.
Mr. Bova, 47, of Bellevue, a lawyer in private practice, has worked in the Juvenile Court system. He also is acting judge in Bellevue Municipal Court and the Clyde law director.
Voters will elect a new commissioner because Republican Dan Liskai is not running for re-election. Republicans Adam Greenslade, Danny Polter, and Ty Tracy are in the primary. The winner will face Democrat Michael Hetrick in November.
Mr. Greenslade, 29, of Green Springs, is a consultant who focuses on economic development.Economic issues play a major role in his campaign, Mr. Greenslade said.
"In poll after poll, it's the number one issue facing our residents right now," he said. "I think I'm the most qualified to address those issues."
Mr. Polter, 56, works on his family farm, the Polter Berry Farm. He's also a three-term Riley Township trustee.
"Being a trustee, I've worked with county officials, and I understand how government works in the county," he said, adding that he has business knowledge from running the farm.
"I think my age and experience will help if we have any bumps in the road," he said. Mr. Tracy, 34, of Woodville, a chiropractor, is a first-term council member in Woodville. "I think I can make some changes happen," he said, adding he wants to work on courthouse space issues and keep a close eye on the mega farm development in the western part of the county.
Voters will consider an income tax renewal for the Fremont City Schools as well as an income tax for the Clyde-Greeen Springs Schools.