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Published: Monday, 6/30/2014

Splinter group makes nominations for Board of Elections

While the officially recognized Lucas County Republican party considers its next step in the saga of filling two vacant seats on the board of elections, a rival county party has put forward its own nominees for the open seats.

The splinter group -- explicitly not recognized by the state GOP -- met tonight to nominate former judge Peter Handwork and former county GOP chairman and board of elections member Patrick Kriner for the Lucas County Board of Elections.

The group, led by Maumee Republican David Kissinger, will forward the names to Secretary of State Jon Husted, who already has rejected the nominees tapped by the official Lucas County Republican Party.

The officially recognized party was organized in a contentious June 11 meeting. It re-elected party chairman Jon Stainbrook, who is one of three elections board officials removed in May by Mr. Husted after the secretary of state said the elections board had descended into an unfixable culture of dysfunction.

Mr. Husted rejected the Stainbrook-led faction‘‍s nominees to fill the vacant board seats, Kelly Bensman and Ben Roberts, saying they represented the same fractious culture that had created the elections board problems. 

Mr. Handwork, formerly of the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals, was tapped by Mr. Husted as part of a two-man oversight committee to guide the elections board in May while it certified the results of the May 6 primary. Mr. Kriner, a Sylvania businessman, resigned from the board of elections in 2011 after frequently locking horns with Mr. Stainbrook.

The county Republican party’‍s executive committee plans to meet Wednesday to decide whether to nominate two new names or to mount an Ohio Supreme Court challenge to Mr. Husted’‍s rejections of Ms. Bensman and Mr. Roberts.



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