By SEAN RICE
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,
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.