The retirement of two longtime area county officials -- Wood County Commissioner Alvie Perkins and Fulton County Sheriff Darrell Merillat -- has given Republican voters in those counties a choice of new candidates on Tuesday's primary ballot.
Mr. Perkins, a Democrat who has been on the board of commissioners a total of 27 years, retired on his 79th birthday in January. While Democrat Joel Kuhlman of Bowling Green was named to complete his term, five Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Mr. Kuhlman in November.
On the ballot are David Beaverson, 54, of Middleton Township; Doris Herringshaw, 62, of Liberty Township; Terry Krukemyer, 50, of Pemberville, Richard Ruffner, 49, of Webster Township, and Adam Seibert, 23, of Jerry City. None has held elected office before, although Mr. Seibert was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Jerry City Village Council.
Mr. Seibert, a senior liberal studies major at Bowling Green State University, works full time as an inside sales representative at Fort Meigs Auto Electric in Northwood and serves on the Northwestern Water & Sewer District Board of Trustees. Ms. Herringshaw retired in August as extension educator in Wood County for Ohio State University Extension.
Mr. Beaverson, Mr. Krukemyer, and Mr. Ruffner all own their own businesses.
Mr. Beaverson, who owns Refrigeration Mechanics Inc. in Bowling Green, has a master of business administration degree. Mr. Krukemyer has a master's degree in applied economics and owns Econometric Financial Services.
Mr. Ruffner, a Perrysburg High School graduate, owns the O-Deer Diner in Perrysburg.
Mr. Ruffner, who has the support of both former Perrysburg police Chief Nelson Evans, now the city's mayor, and current Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, was convicted of four counts of disorderly conduct with persistence, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, for incidents that occurred in 1993, 1994, and 1998, and for disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor, in 1996.
He said he doesn't think his record would hurt his ability to serve as a county commissioner.
"Once again, I think some people have done well by me and I think that shows I've matured and moved on and I think that makes me more in touch with the everyday citizen," Mr. Ruffner said. "I look back on my past and there's things I'm not proud of, but I'm not ashamed of anything either. Most people know who I am and what I stand for."
In Fulton County, Delta police Chief Rick Sluder and Fulton County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Roy Miller are running in the Republican primary to replace Sheriff Merillat, who has been in the sheriff's post since 1985. Sheriff Merillat is not seeking re-election.
No Democrats filed for the office, but an independent -- Wauseon police Chief Keith Torbet -- has filed to run for the office.
Three incumbent officeholders also are being challenged in their re-election bids.
Fulton County Prosecutor Scott Haselman faces Stacey Burns in the Republican primary. Clerk of Courts Paul MacDonald is being challenged by Abigail Bieber in the GOP primary, and Commissioner Dean Genter will face William Rufenacht. No Democrats filed to run for any of the jobs, but independent candidates have until Monday to file with the board of elections.
In Seneca County, Republican voters will decide two primary races for county commissioner.
Incumbent Dave Sauber of Tiffin is being challenged by Holly Stacy of Green Springs in the GOP primary.
Mr. Sauber, who opposed tearing down the county's 1884 courthouse because he didn't want to spend the nearly $400,000 required to do it, is finishing his second four-year term in office.
Ms. Stacy is the president and chief executive officer of the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce in Fremont and served two terms on the Old Fort school board.
Incumbent Ben Nutter, who supported demolition of the courthouse, is unopposed in the Democratic primary, but two Republicans -- Fred Zoeller and Kevin Carrigan, both of Tiffin -- are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Mr. Nutter in November.
Mr. Zoeller, president and chief executive officer of Tiffin-based Laminate Technologies Inc., said he wants to run government like a business and use his business experience to help attract and retain companies in Seneca County. Mr. Carrigan, a former sales manager for Essex Group Inc. in Indiana, did not respond to interview requests.
In Hancock County, incumbent Commissioner Ed Ingold is being challenged in the GOP primary by Brian Robertson, partner and vice president of MBDS LLC, manufacturing services firm. Mr. Robertson ran unsuccessfully for Findlay mayor last year.
Two Republicans -- Mark Gazarek and Tom Shindledecker -- are vying for the seat currently held by Commissioner Emily Walton, who did not seek re-election.
Mr. Gazarek, an accountant, serves as a Marion Township trustee. Mr. Shindledecker, who has not held public office, is better known as Tom Sheldon, the name he used during a long career as news director for WFIN-WKXA Radio in Findlay.
State Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green), and Michelle McCauley of Sylvania are running in the GOP primary for the 2nd District Ohio Senate seat now held by Mark Wagoner.
An Ottawa Hills Republican, Mr. Wagoner is not seeking re-election.
The 2nd District includes Wood and Erie counties and parts of Lucas and Ottawa counties.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6129.