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Lucas County Republican Party selects Board of Elections members

Splinter party group seeks to create new central committee

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    Bensman.

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    Ben Roberts

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    Ben Roberts during a meeting at the Main Street Bar & Grill in Toledo.

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    Kelly Bensman will be appointed to a vacancy on the Lucas County Board of Elections.

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Kelly Bensman will be appointed to a vacancy on the Lucas County Board of Elections.

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The Lucas County Republican Party tonight named two people — Kelly Bensman and Ben Roberts — to be appointed to vacancies on the Lucas County Board of Elections.

The two names were selected during a meeting led by Chairman Jon Stainbrook, who recently sat on the Board of Elections. The nominees were needed after Secretary of State Jon Husted ousted three board members, including Mr. Stainbrook, from their jobs earlier this month.

Saying the Board of Elections’ “culture of dysfunction … must come to an end once and for all,” Secretary of State Jon Husted removed the three board members and served notice that he would appoint no one with a connection to “the problems of the past.”

The names selected tonight will be forwarded to Mr. Husted for his review. Mr. Roberts is a former director of the elections board.

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Ben Roberts during a meeting at the Main Street Bar & Grill in Toledo.

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During the Stainbrook meeting tonight, a rival group of Republicans who failed in their effort to unseat Mr. Stainbrook at last week‘‍s meeting of the party central committee also is meeting, separately in Maumee, to create a new Lucas County Republican Party Central Committee.

David Kissinger, a Maumee resident and former candidate for the state legislature from Lucas County, said the group has the right to organize, under state law, as long as at least 20 members of the central committee are present, although that could not be verified. The county central committee has about 266 members.

Mr. Stainbrook said the group does not meet the requirements of the state law because the meeting can only be called by the outgoing chairman of the central committee, and because the official reorganization meeting was held last Wednesday after legal notices were posted. A notice for tonight’‍s rival meeting was posted at the Lucas County Board of Elections on Friday, but was taken down either Tuesday or today.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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