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07-19-06 Dems make ballot switch

By Tim Cox

  Democratic write-in candidate Bill Army has withdrawn from the November election race for a county commissioner seat and has been replaced by the party with Jeff Schwieterman.

  Army withdrew from the race because he has moved out of Mercer County. The Mercer County Democratic Central Committee has picked Schwieterman to take Army's slot on the ballot.

  Schwieterman's name will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot because Army gained enough votes during a write-in campaign in the May primary to qualify for the November election ballot.

  "Because Bill gained enough votes to get his name on the ballot, his replacement legally gets his name on the ballot," Mercer County Democratic Chairman Bill Sell said.

  Mercer County Board of Elections' members this week accepted Army's withdrawal from the race. The county Democratic Party has given Schwieterman a vote of support and will formally install him as their candidate at the party's July 25 meeting, Sell said.  Schwieterman, of Maria Stein, has never held public office before. His father, the late Roger Schwieterman, is a former county auditor and Democratic Party chairman.

  Local Democrats approached Schwieterman about running for the post after it became clear Army was dropping out, Sell said. Schwieterman agreed to join the campaign a couple of weeks ago, Sell said.

  Schwieterman will be running against incumbent Republican Jim Zehringer, who is serving his first term as commissioner.

  Army pulled out of the race so he could pursue a job opportunity in Piqua. Army also has never held public office.


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