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Published: Monday, 3/1/2010

GOP veteran named to Lucas County Board of Elections

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner on Monday appointed Republican Party veteran Ben Marsh to a disputed vacancy on the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Mr. Marsh, a lawyer with a long history of involvement in the local GOP, replaces Lynn Olman, whose term ended Sunday night.

The board is required to have two Republicans and two Democrats who oversee elections in Lucas County, with tie votes broken by the secretary of state, who is currently a Democrat.

Mr. Marsh, 82, was on the board of elections from 1973 to 1978. He started as an assistant solicitor for the city of Maumee in 1955 and was then solicitor from 1963 to 1992.

Ms. Brunner said that because there is a dispute over leadership of the local party, she couldn't accept the nominee for the Olman vacancy from either side.

She said that under state law, a decision must be made by the state party chairman, Kevin DeWine, and he has not made a decision.

The power struggle is between Jon Stainbrook, who was elected chairman in 2008, and Jeff Simpson, who claims he was elected in a party meeting Dec. 21. Mr. Stainbrook does not recognize the vote, and so under state law the claim is automatically forwarded to the state party chairman for a resolution.

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