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01-03-04: Auglaize Republicans to compete; Mercer County incumbents file


On this year’s primary election day, March 2, Republican voters in Auglaize County will have to narrow down a list of four candidates to run for two open county commission seats.
The deadline to join the November races as a Democrat or Republican passed at 4 p.m. Friday. Independent and non-party candidates can submit petitions for candidacy by March 1.
Along with the presidential and statewide races in November, Mercer and Auglaize counties each have a list of unopposed county officeholders seeking reelection.
In the March primary races for two Republican commissioner candidates in Auglaize County, incumbent Ivo Kramer, Wapakoneta, is being challenged by Clay Township Trustee Don Regula, Wapakoneta, for one open seat. Incumbent John Bergman, Celina, is facing John Limbert, Wapakoneta, for the nomination to the second open Auglaize County commission seat.
The winner of the Bergman-Limbert contest will face Democrat Ted Vorhees, Buckland, in the November general election. The winner of the Kramer-Regula race has no November opposition.
Auglaize County voters also will choose between two new candidates for county sheriff in November to replace the retiring Sheriff Larry Longsworth. Current sheriff’s deputy Al Solomon, a St. Marys Democrat, faces Cridersville Police Chief John Drake, a Republican.
There will be a March primary contest for the Republican nomination to county treasurer, to run unopposed in November. April Bowersock is challenging Pamela Crisp, both of Wapakoneta. Current Treasurer Jenny Pitchford is not running.
Other incumbent Auglaize County officeholders filing and running uncontested in the March primary are:
• Edwin Pierce, St. Marys, prosecuting attorney.
• Sue Ellen Kohler, Wapakoneta, clerk of courts.
• Ann Billings, Waynesfield, recorder.
• Douglas Reinhart, Wapakone-ta, engineer.
• Thomas Freytag, Wapakoneta, coroner.
• Frederick Pepple, Wapakone-ta, common pleas judge.
In Mercer County, incumbent county commissioners Jerry Laffin and Tom Gagel will face opposition in November.
Gagel, a Maria Stein Democrat, faces Celina Republican Bob Nuding, a former Celina City Council member. Laffin, a rural Celina Republican, faces Maria Stein Democrat Jeff Schwieterman.
The other incumbent Mercer County officeholders running unopposed in November are:
• Prosecuting attorney, Andy Hinders, Celina.
• Sheriff, Jeff Grey, Fort Recovery.
• Engineer, James Wiechart, Spencerville.
• Common pleas judge, Jeffrey Ingraham, Celina.
• Clerk of courts, Jim Highley, Celina.
• Coroner, Tim Heinrichs, rural Celina.
• Recorder, Tammy Barger, Celina.
• Treasurer, Doris Rutschilling, St. Henry.
There also will be Republican central committee races for all precincts in Mercer County, and Republican and Democrat central committee races in Auglaize County.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


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