BOWLING GREEN - Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer has filed petitions to run as an independent candidate for Wood County sheriff in November.
He is challenging first-term Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, who is unopposed in Tuesday's primary for the Republican nomination.
No Democrats are running for the office.
Chief Hummer, 45, who worked as chief deputy under former Wood County Sheriff John Kohl for three years, left the sheriff's office to take his current position with Lake Township in May, 2004, after Sheriff Wasylyshyn narrowly defeated Mr. Kohl in the 2004 Republican primary.
Chief Hummer said he chose to run as an independent rather than as a Republican because he believes all Wood County voters should have a say in choosing the sheriff, not just members of one party. He also said he sees the sheriff's role as nonpartisan.
"I feel as though the chief law enforcement officer should not have the appearance of being beholden to one political party," he said. "The sheriff has to represent all people."
Chief Hummer has worked as a police officer in Perrysburg, Perrysburg Township, and Pemberville.
In addition to working as chief in Lake Township, he was named last month as administrative assistant to the township trustees.
Trustees gave him an additional $800 a month to help with economic development, grant writing, and other administrative duties.
Sheriff Wasylyshyn, who worked with Chief Hummer when both were with the Perrysburg Police Department, said he "campaigned very hard to get into this office and I will campaign just as hard to keep it."
He said he has been a very hands-on, very visible sheriff who watches every penny.
He also has made a number of changes in how the sheriff's office operates, which he believes has been positive for the agency and the county.
"I completely understand I answer to the voters of this county - the citizens of this county," Sheriff Wasylyshyn said. "They will have a clear choice of whether they like the direction things have been going in or if they want to go back to the way it was under the Hummer-Kohl administration."
Independent candidates for November's general election have until 4 p.m. Monday to file petitions with their county board of elections.
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