Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Eight Auglaize County incumbents unopposed
By Amy Kronenberger
WAPAKONETA - All incumbents of the nine Auglaize County seats up for election in November have filed to run in the March 6 primary; no seats are contested as of now.
The deadline to file for partisan seats in the primary was Wednesday. The Republican and Democratic winners, and any independents filed by March 5, will face off at the Nov. 6 general election.
Those who filed are for county recorder, Republican incumbent Christina Lambert of Wapakoneta and Democrat Anne Hamilton of New Bremen; for two commissioner seats, Republican incumbents John Bergman and Don Regula; for prosecuting attorney, Republican incumbent Edwin Pierce; for clerk of court, Republican incumbent I. Jean Meckstroth; for sheriff, Democratic incumbent Allen Solomon; for engineer, Republican incumbent Douglas Reinhart; for coroner, Republican incumbent Thomas Freytag; and for treasurer, Republican incumbent April Bowersock.
The only issue to be on the primary ballot is a 7.3-mill bond for residents in the New Bremen school district to provide revenue for a proposed K-8 building as an Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) project.
If approved, the bond issue would generate $741,000 per year for a period of 33 years. The owner of a $100,000 home would see a net increase of $232 on their annual real estate taxes.
For the first time, Ohio faces two possible primaries, one on March 6 and another in June. Congress passed the measure to buy more time for a deal on the congressional map Republican approved earlier this year.
The March primary will include state, local and U.S. senate candidates. The June primary will include congressional and presidential candidates.
However, an extra primary could cost the state about $15 million and the county an estimated $40,000.
Despite a tight county budget, board of elections director Carolyn Campbell said the county must set aside the money for the second primary. She said the state has promised to reimburse counties but noted the money still needs to be set aside upfront.
"The state is saying they'll reimburse us, but where is that money coming from?" she said. "I think it still comes out of our pockets. They're taking money out of one pocket and putting into another."
Because of the added costs, Congress is working to consolidate the two primaries, possibly in April or May. Republican House Speaker William Batchelder said he hopes to push the measure through next week.
"So now we may not have to worry about the extra primary anyway," Campbell said.