Area voters to choose Wood county commissioners

Contested races for sheriffs, coroner to be decided in some parts of region

  • wood-county-commish

    Wood County commissioner candidates.

  • Wood County commissioner candidates.
    Wood County commissioner candidates.

    Like voters across northwest Ohio, Wood County residents will decide whether to retain two sitting county commissioners or replace them with new faces.

    Longtime Republican Commissioner Jim Carter is seeking his fifth term, while Democrat Joel Kuhlman, who was appointed last year to fill out the term of former Commissioner Alvie Perkins, is seeking election to his first full term.

    Mr. Carter, 73, is being challenged by Democrat Fred Keith, Jr., 54, who works as business manager for Boilermakers Local 85 and sits on the Lakota school board, and Libertarian Brad Waltz of Grand Rapids.

    Mr. Kuhlman, 31, a lawyer and former Bowling Green City Council member, faces Republican Doris Herringshaw, 63, who has not held elected office. She retired last year as county extension agent with the Ohio State University Extension Service.

    READ MORE: The Blade 2012 Voter Guide

    The only other contested office on the ballot in Wood County is the recorder’s race. Incumbent Julie Baumgardner, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Brian Boos.

    Voters in Fulton, Henry, and Putnam counties will decide who will be their county sheriff for the next four years.

    Fulton County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Roy Miller is running against Wauseon Police Chief Keith Torbet, an independent, to replace Sheriff Darrell Merillat, who did not seek re-election after 28 years in office.

    In Henry County, incumbent Sheriff John Nye faces independent Mike Bodenbender, who resigned his job as a sergeant in the sheriff’s office to run for his boss’s job. Putnam County Sheriff James Beutler, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term in a race against Republican Michael Chandler, a retired sheriff’s deputy.

    Also in Henry County, incumbent Commissioner Richard Myers, a Democrat who was indicted recently for having an unlawful interest in a public contract, faces Republican Glenn Miller. County Treasurer Calvin Spiess, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Zachary Riley.

    Incumbent Fulton County Commissioner Paul Barnaby, a Republican, is opposed by independent Becky Thatcher.

    Seneca County voters will decide whether to retain two-term Democrat Ben Nutter as county commissioner. Mr. Nutter is being challenged by Republican Fred Zoeller, who has pledged to put his business experience to work for the financially struggling county.

    Voters also will choose a new commissioner to replace Dave Sauber, who was defeated in the Republican primary in March. Republican Holly Stacy, who works as president and chief executive officer of the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce in Fremont, is running against independent Paul Shoemaker, a former maintenance worker for Seneca County.

    Four-term Sandusky County Commissioner Terry Thatcher, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat Glenn R. Baker. Sandusky County voters also will choose between incumbent Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt, a Democrat, and Republican Tim Braun, who works as an assistant prosecutor in Lucas County.

    In Ottawa County, Commissioner Steve Arndt, a Republican from Port Clinton, faces Democrat John Huffman, a lawyer from Elmore. Incumbent Republican Commissioner Mark Stahl is being challenged by Democrat JoEllen Regal.

    Ottawa County voters also will elect a coroner. Dr. Jerome McTague, the incumbent and a Republican, faces a challenge from Dr. Dan Cadigan, a Democrat from Port Clinton.

    Contact Jennifer Feehan at: or 419-724-6129.