Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Matt Cherry retains District 2 seat on Toledo City Council

Rep. Sears fends off Tea Party challenger


Matt Cherry

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Turning out in low numbers in warm, sunny weather, voters were mixed on area school levies, turned down a Tea Party challenge to incumbent state Rep. Barbara Sears of Monclova Township, and then had to stay up late if they wanted to know who won the special election for a Toledo City Council seat. Results released about 4 a.m. confirmed incumbent Matt Cherry would retain his appointed District 2 seat.

Regular election results were delayed after five data cards could not be found before midnight, leaving voters knowing only 72 percent of the vote until early today.

VIEW: Primary election results

Lucas County Elections Director Gina Kaczala said the board had to create two different databases because the Toledo candidates’ March 27 filing deadline was too late to include on the voting machines, which had to be ready for early voting on April 1.

South Toledo's District 2 City Council race on Tuesday was won by the incumbent, Matt Cherry, 33, a business agent for Sheet Metal Workers Local 33.

He had 1,823 votes, according to final, unofficial results released by the Lucas County Board of Elections about 4 a.m. today.

He was appointed to the seat by council after D. Michael Collins, who had held the seat, was sworn in as Toledo's mayor. By winning Tuesday's election, Mr. Cherry will serve through the end of 2015.

Independent Marcia Helman, 63, who owns an ice cream parlor, got 1,520 votes.

Democrat Bob Vasquez, 61, a member of the Toledo Board of Education since 2008, got 775 votes,

Republican Joe Celusta, 50, a former business executive and the grandson of a Toledo mayor during the 1950s, won 404 votes.

Ms. Sears (R., Monclova Township), 50, turned back the campaign of Scott Allegrini, 40, a Walmart manager. She is unopposed in the Nov. 4 general election.

Mr. Allegrini, backed by state and local Tea Party groups, campaigned against Ms. Sears’ strong support for the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Ohio, which Mr. Allegrini said was the same as supporting the Affordable Care Act.

“I think my message resonated with at least 2,000 people in the district,” Mr. Allegrini said.

Ms. Sears thanked voters of Lucas and Fulton counties.

“I think quite frankly having someone run against me gave me a great opportunity to explain why [the Medicaid expansion] was right for Ohio, though it may not be right for other states,” said Ms. Sears.

In the 9th Congressional District Republican primary, Richard May of Cleveland defeated Robert Horrocks of Lakewood.

Mr. May, 53, a retired warehouse manager, ran in part to deny the nomination to Mr. Horrocks, 40, whom he accused of having a homosexual relationship that would have depressed Republican turnout in the general election.

“While Democrats and other people may not be comfortable with that fact, it appears that as people understood who Robert Horrocks is, I did better,” Mr. May said.

The two often clashed over policy, with Mr. May attacking Obamacare and the minimum increase, and Mr. Horrocks speaking favorably of trade barriers and raising the minimum wage to promote job growth.

Mr. May faces the uphill climb of running against longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) in the mainly Democratic district that stretches from Toledo to Cleveland.

Mr. Horrocks expressed appreciation for all the votes he got.

“To run as an openly gay Republican on a platform of jobs and to poll as well as I did this evening says wonders about the good people of the 9th District,” said Mr. Horrocks. Asked if he was going to support the GOP ticket, Mr. Horrocks said, ”I have to take some time to evaluate.”

In Sandusky and Seneca counties, Rhonda Damschroder lost to Tiffin businessman Bill Reineke for the Republican nomination for the 88th House District in an all-write-in race.

Mrs. Damschroder, who refused to campaign, ran as a place-holder for her husband, state Rep. Rex Damschroder (R., Fremont) who was barred from the primary when he made a mistake in his filing petition. She intended to resign and allow her husband to be appointed to replace her on the November ballot.

Mr. Reineke, president of Tiffin Ford, said, "I’m excited, I’m thrilled. I’m just excited that I can continue to do what I’ve been doing for the county as a businessman and my involvement in economic development and the Chamber [of Commerce]."

In the 81st House District, Robert McColley of Napoleon defeated Jason Rockey of Montpelier for the Republican nomination to succeed state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon), who is term-limited. The unopposed Democrat is John P. Lymanstall of Napoleon. The district includes Williams, Putnam, and Henry counties, and part of Fulton County.

Ex-Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp defeated Kurt Neeper in the primary contest for the Republican nomination for the 4th House District. State Rep. Matt Huffman (R., Lima) was barred by term limits from seeking re-election. The only Democratic candidate is Robert “Bo” Huenke of Elida.

Sen. Cliff Hite (R., Findlay) defeated two opponents in the 1st Senate District - Tea Party-supported church minister Corey Shankleton of Kunkle, Ohio, Milo Schaffner of Van Wert.

In the Republican State Central Committee race for the male representative in the 11th Senate District, former tavern owner Bill Delaney defeated county Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook. Mr. Delaney was backed by the Ohio Citizen PAC Tea Party group, while Mr. Stainbrook was supported by the state and local parties.

In the three other contests, Meghan Gallagher defeated Tea Party-backed Diana Skaff for the woman's seat in the 11th Senate District. In the 2nd Senate District, Mark Wagoner and Dee Talmage defeated Tea Party-supported candidates Ronald LeRoux and Maureen Alexander.

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

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