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Friday, May 31st, 2013

Elections board hires new chief

By Amy Kronenberger
WAPAKONETA - A Democrat from Lakeview will be the new director of the Auglaize County Board of Elections.
Board members during a special meeting today unanimously voted to hire Michelle Wilcox to replace retiring director Carolyn Campbell, pending a background check. Board chairperson Fran Engle said she doesn't anticipate any problems.
Wilcox has been office manager for Kaufman Law office, Lima, for a year and a half. She previously was office manager for Wilcox Chiropractic in Waynesfield for 11 years. She graduated from Waynesfield-Goshen High School in 1983 and The Ohio State University in 1986 with a degree in human ecology.
Engle said Wilcox stood out as the perfect candidate because of her experience with law and office management. She also has dealt with the governor and secretary of state through her current job.
"A job like this, you can't be political," Engle said. "And her recent dinner working with the governor, that showed her ability to work with both sides."
Wilcox said she applied for the job because of the opportunity and challenge. A friend on the Democratic Committee convinced her to apply.
"I'm just really excited to join the board; we really hit it off in the interview," she said. "I'm really looking forward to learning and working with Carolyn before she retires."
Board members said Wilcox's friendly demeanor and ability to handle stressful situations also made her a perfect fit.
"One of the things we were looking for was how does the person get along with other people and how was the person going to handle a stressful situation," Engle said. "We knew that she could do the job because she's already handled a lot of stressful situations."
The board received 10 applications and interviewed six people, Engle said. Two of the six withdrew.
"We had several really good applicants," she said. "We were lucky to have so many."
To be eligible for the position, a candidate needed to live in Auglaize County and be a registered Democrat. Engle has said state law requires a balanced representation of both parties within the board of elections. Deputy director Peggy Matheny is a Republican.
Wilcox's salary will be $36,796, the same as Campbell's. She will officially take over the position Aug. 1 when Campbell retires. She will begin training in a few weeks.
In other news, election results for the St. Marys Council at-large race are unchanged after Thursday's recount.
The three winning Republican candidates are incumbent Bob Fitzgerald with 737 votes, Todd Fleagle with 620 votes and Dan Uhlenhake with 590 votes. Russ Bailey received 583 votes and incumbent Jim Harris garnered 433. The top three candidates will appear on the November ballot.
The state required a recount because the seven-vote difference between Uhlenhake and Bailey fell within the statistical difference determined by the Ohio Revised Code mandating the action.
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