Thursday, Dec 08, 2016
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Politics

REGIONAL RACES

2 Republicans challenge Wood County commissioner

2 square off for auditor in Sandusky County

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    Herringshaw

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    Kennelly

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    Matuszak

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    Brown

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    Miller

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Herringshaw

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BOWLING GREEN — Two Republicans are challenging the party’s endorsed candidate who wants to remain a Wood County commissioner.

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Kennelly

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Commissioner Doris Herringshaw, 64, of Liberty Township faces opposition from Kristi Kennelly, 46, of Perrysburg Township and Jim Matuszak, 49, of Perrysburg in the Tuesday primary election, one of several contested races voters throughout the region will decide.

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Matuszak

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Ms. Herringshaw was appointed in 2013 to replace Tim Brown, following his election to the Ohio House of Representatives. A retired county extension agent, she is endorsed by the Wood County Republican Party’s central and executive committees.

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Brown

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The primary endorsement is an unusual step, said party chairman Matt Reger. After appointing Ms. Herringshaw to fill the vacancy the party had “an obligation to stick behind her and commit to the candidate we appointed,” he said.

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Miller

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In 2012, Ms. Herringshaw ran for commissioner and bested four Republicans in the primary but then lost to Democrat Joel Kuhlman.

She said the county has done a good job keeping taxes low and saved money by combining department functions. If elected, Ms. Herringshaw said she’ll continue to focus on job creation and county infrastructure, including work on bridges.

“We are trying to make sure that we have jobs, and make sure we have qualified workers for [these] jobs,” she said.

Ms. Kennelly, an administrator at a private business college, and Mr. Matuszak, a Perrysburg councilman and certified public accountant, both said they would be a voice for the county’s northern parts.

Both also said Ms. Herringshaw is not a proven winner.

“It’s important that Republican voters in Wood County have a choice as to who they want [as] their candidate in November,” Mr. Matuszak said. “If the voters choose me then that will send a pretty strong message to the party.”

He wants to foster more transparency by making sure people have access to local government.

Ms. Kennelly said she’s focusing her campaign on jobs, the need for more growth in the county — especially seeing “what we can do to market and develop more of the northern parts of the county”— and taking care of roads.

The Republican primary winner will face Democrat Andrew Newlove of Bowling Green.

In Sandusky County, the race for auditor pits two Republicans against each other in the primary. No Democrats have filed for the position.

Seeking the spot are county Administrator Warren Brown, 58, and Jerri Miller, 53, executive director of the Sandusky County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Longtime Auditor William Farrell is retiring.

Mr. Brown would take a pay cut if elected auditor. He presently makes about $88,000 a year; the auditor’s salary is about $70,790. Mr. Brown said he can bring “an unusual skill set” to the job because of his prior experience, which includes four years as administrator and serving as the former county clerk of courts.

His priority is to examine the office for inefficiencies and look into any savings by considering changes to the software used by the office.

Ms. Miller is a certified public accountant whose experience includes working in a public accounting firm and as the financial coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce of Sandusky County. If elected, she plans to focus on responding quickly to requests and evaluate what works and what doesn’t in the office.

Republican voters in Seneca County will pick from two candidates for commissioner to replace Jeff Wagner, who is not seeking re-election.

Voters will choose between Mike Kerschner, a retired chief executive officer of Old Fort Banking Co. who lives in Tiffin, and Philip Frankart, a New Riegel auto repair shop owner.

No Democrats are running for commissioner.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.

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