Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
Giesige, Zehringer, Spencer win races
Mercer County auditor - Mercer County commissioner - Auglaize County commissioner
By Daily Standard Staff
By TIMOTHY COX
and JANIE SOUTHARD
Mercer County Auditor Mark Giesige claimed a narrow victory over Republican challenger David Kaiser in voting Tuesday.
Mercer County Republican Commissioner Jim Zehringer won re-election, easily topping Democratic challenger Jeff Schwieterman. In the Auglaize County commissioner race, Republican Doug Spencer won over Democrat Ted Vorhees.
Giesige, a Democrat, won his fourth term as auditor in a tight race against Kaiser, a political newcomer. Giesige campaigned on his experience in the auditor's office to offset a majority of Republican voters in the county.
Giesige defeated Kaiser 7,963 votes to 7,022, a 53 percent to 47 percent margin. Kaiser, St. Henry, won several precincts, including his hometown and surrounding areas.
"I'm very happy and looking forward to another four years," Giesige said.
Kaiser supporters at the county courthouse praised the first-time candidate's efforts. The political newcomer missed upsetting a popular incumbent by only a few hundred votes, they said.
Zehringer easily won re-election by defeating Schwieterman with a 62.5 percent to 34.5 percent margin. Zehringer, Fort Recovery, will now serve a second term as county commissioner.
"I'm happy. I thank the citizens of Mercer County for having faith in me," Zehringer said following the victory. "I enjoy working for the citizens of Mercer County."
Zehringer credited Schwieterman and other countywide candidates for running clean, honest campaigns.
"I wish the national and state level candidates would run their campaigns like we do in Mercer County. They could learn a lot," Zehringer said.
Zehringer, a rural Fort Recovery farmer, has promised to continue working toward the construction of a new county jail and to improve the water quality of Grand Lake.
In Auglaize County, Spencer won the commissioner's seat over Vorhees, 9,541 votes to 6,700.
At his victory party, Spencer, a St. Marys teacher, credited "an unbelievable grass roots effort" for his win.
"A whole lot of my campaign was spearheaded by my current and former students," said Spencer, who also thanked his family for their support over the last year and praised Vorhees, the mayor of Buckland, for a "good, clean campaign."
Spencer said he and Superintendent Ken Baker will meet this week to discuss exit strategy from the school. He has been a teacher for 12 years.
As commissioner, Spencer will replace Hugh Core, who retires at the end of the year.