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Seneca County courthouse foe Nutter defeated

Incumbents fall in other regional races

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    CTY saveseneca02p Seneca County commissioner Ben Nutter listens as preservationists make another plea to save the Seneca County Courthouse in Tiffin, Ohio, Tuesday, November 1, 2011. THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY

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TIFFIN — Sen­eca County Com­mis­sioner Ben Nut­ter, who led the charge to tear down the county’s 1884 court­house, was thrown out of of­fice by a wide mar­gin Tues­day.

Tif­fin busi­ness­man Fred Zoeller, a Re­pub­li­can, pulled in 58 per­cent of the vote in his first run for of­fice.

Mr. Nut­ter, a Dem­o­crat and a Tif­fin fire­fighter, came un­der scru­tiny when he and fel­low com­mis­sioner Jeff Wag­ner voted to de­mol­ish the his­toric court­house at a cost of nearly $400,000.

“I would hope that Com­mis­sioner Nut­ter didn't lose this race strictly as a re­sult of the court­house, but more from the lack of mak­ing de­ci­sions. I call it kick­ing the can down the road,” Mr. Zoeller said. “I'm just over­whelmed with the vot­ers' con­fi­dence in me. I want to com­mend Ben Nut­ter. We kept ev­ery­thing above board. We just have some dif­fer­ent views. I know that I'm go­ing to have to make some tough de­ci­sions, but they will be made in the best in­ter­est of the peo­ple. ”

Mr. Nut­ter did not re­turn calls seek­ing com­ment.

Mr. Zoeller, owner and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Lam­i­nate Tech­nol­o­gies in Tif­fin, said his fo­cus will be eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Sen­eca County vot­ers also chose Re­pub­li­can Holly Stacy over in­de­pen­dent Paul Shoe­maker to re­place two-term Com­mis­sioner Dave Sauber.

Mr. Sauber, who had cast the lone vote against de­mol­ish­ing the court­house, was de­feated in the GOP pri­mary.

In Wood County, vot­ers chose Dem­o­crat Joel Kuhl­man to re­tain the com­mis­sioner’s seat filled for more than two de­cades by Dem­o­crat Alvie Perkins. Mr. Kuhl­man, a Bowl­ing Green law­yer ap­pointed af­ter Mr. Perkins re­tired, de­feated Re­pub­li­can Doris Her­ring­shaw.

In­cum­bent Wood County Com­mis­sioner Jim Carter, 73, de­feated Dem­o­crat Fred Keith, Jr., and Lib­er­tar­ian Brad Waltz to win a fifth term.

Wood County Re­corder Julie Baum­gard­ner, a Dem­o­crat, won a sec­ond term by de­feat­ing Re­pub­li­can Brian Boos.

In Henry County, two in­cum­bent of­fice­hold­ers were tossed out.

Com­mis­sioner Rich­ard My­ers, a Dem­o­crat who six weeks ago was in­dicted for hav­ing an un­law­ful in­ter­est in a con­tract, was soundly de­feated by Re­pub­li­can Glenn Miller.

Long­time Sher­iff John Nye lost to in­de­pen­dent Mike Bo­den­bender, who re­signed as ser­geant to run for his boss’ job.

Henry County Trea­surer Calvin Spiess, a Dem­o­crat, was re-elected over Re­pub­li­can Zachary Ri­ley.

In San­dusky County, four-term Com­mis­sioner Terry Thatcher, a Re­pub­li­can, re­ceived a fifth term, de­feat­ing Dem­o­crat Glenn R. Baker. San­dusky County vot­ers also re-elected Pros­e­cu­tor Tom Stier­walt, a Dem­o­crat, who was chal­lenged by Re­pub­li­can Tim Braun, an as­sis­tant pros­e­cu­tor in Lu­cas County.

San­dusky County vot­ers elected at­tor­ney Mary Eliz­a­beth Fiser as judge of the county court in Wood­ville. She de­feated Beth Tis­ch­ler, an as­sis­tant San­dusky County pros­e­cu­tor.

The judge­ship ini­tially was not in­cluded on the bal­lot but was added af­ter the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the merger of the Wood­ville and Clyde courts.

In Ful­ton County, Re­pub­li­can in­cum­bent Com­mis­sioner Paul Barn­aby won an­other term, eas­ily de­feat­ing in­de­pen­dent Becky Thatcher. Chief Dep­uty Roy Miller was elected sher­iff to re­place Dar­rell Meril­lat, who did not seek re-elec­tion af­ter 28 years in of­fice. Mr. Miller de­feated Wau­seon Po­lice Chief Keith Tor­bet, an in­de­pen­dent.

In Ot­tawa County, Com­mis­sioner Steve Arndt, a Re­pub­li­can, was re-elected over Dem­o­crat John Huff­man, a law­yer from El­more, while in­cum­bent Re­pub­li­can Mark Stahl was de­feated by Dem­o­crat JoEl­len Regal.

Ot­tawa County vot­ers also chose a new cor­o­ner. In­cum­bent Dr. Jer­ome McTague, a Re­pub­li­can, was soundly de­feated by Dr. Dan Ca­di­gan, a Dem­o­crat from Port Clin­ton.

In Put­nam County, in­cum­bent Sher­iff James Beut­ler, a Dem­o­crat, was de­feated by Re­pub­li­can Mi­chael Chan­dler, a re­tired dep­uty. The three-term sher­iff’s bid for re-elec­tion was likely hurt by his ex-wife’s 2009 con­vic­tion for steal­ing $261,000 from her for­mer em­ployer.

Staff writer Jen­ni­fer Fee­han and Blade Cor­re­spon­dent Lisa Swick­ard con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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