The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019

Races, issues bring voters out Tuesday

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Election races at the local, district, and state level, as well as two school issues, are on the ballot today as the November 6 general election officially concludes today. The polls opened at 6:30 a.m. today and will close at 7:30 p.m. today.

County Treasurer candidates (top) are Nathan Vandenbroek and Bonnie Thatcher. Auditor candidates (bottom) are Phil Baxter and Sara Lape.

Two county elected positions are being contested today. The county auditor’s position that has been held for more than four decades by Democrat Nancy Dixon is being sought by her daughter, Sara Lape, who has 33 years of experience in county government herself, as well as Republican challenger Phil Baxter.

Lape, a Democrat like her mother, currently serves as the county personnel director, human resources director, safety coordinator, loss control coordinator — which are all appointed positions — and is a member of the County Budget Commission. She touts her experience in county government and her familiarity with the county auditor’s office as positives for the position.

She and her husband, Phil, have two grown children, and live in the Lincolnview Local School District.

Baxter, a 1986 graduate of Crestview High School, has an electrical engineering technology degree and has also had a woodworking business in the county and has worked as a bookkeeper for Cool Machines and other local entities.

Baxter has never held elected political office, but this is not his first election campaign, since he ran unsuccessfully for county commissioner in 2012.

The county treasurer’s position is being sought by Republican Nathan Vandenbroek and Democrat Bonnie Thatcher.

Vandenbroek was unanimously appointed by the Van Wert County Republican Central Committee to the treasurer’s position on September 6 to replace longtime county treasurer Beverly Fuerst, who retired effective August 31. He earned an MBA degree from the University of Northwestern Ohio and also has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Toledo.

Although this is his first election as a political candidate, Vandenbroek has worked on a number of other political campaigns, including that of President Donald Trump and State Representative Craig Riedel in 2016.

He and his wife, Jessica, who works for the Ohio Farm Bureau, live on a farm in the Venedocia area with their young son, Henrik.

Thatcher is a retired math teacher who taught at Van Wert City Schools for 37 years. A Van Wert County native, Thatcher, who still works a significant number of days as a substitute teacher, has said in the past that she feels like running for the treasurer’s position is a way for her to give back to the community as a public servant — a position she is familiar with, being a longtime teacher.

Thatcher, the daughter of Lloyd and Ilo Marvin and Harold and Sherry Kreischer, has a grown daughter, Bryn, and a grown son, Brock.

At the district level, Republican incumbent Craig Riedel is seeking re-election as a state representative in the 82nd Ohio House district against recent Wayne Trace High School graduate Aden Baker, a Democrat, while State Senator Rob McColley, a Republican, is being challenged for his 1 District Ohio Senate seat by Democrat Adam Papin.

U.S. Representative Bob Latta, a Republican, is seek re-election against Democrat J. Michael Galbraith, the son of a former representative, while U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Jim Renacci.

Ohioans are also choosing between Republican Mike DeWine, the current state attorney general, and Democrat Richard Cordray, a former state attorney general who also headed up a federal agency under former president Barack Obama. DeWine’s running mate for lieutenant governor is John Husted, while Betty Sutton is Cordray’s running mate. The governor’s position is also being sought by Green Party candidates Constance Gadell-Newton and Brett R. Joseph and Libertarian Party candidates Travis Irvine and Todd Grayson.

Other state offices and their candidates, are as follows:

Attorney General — Republican Dave Yost and Democrat Steve Dettelbach.

Auditor of State — Libertarian Robert C. Coogan, Republican Keith Faber, and Democrat Zach Space.

Secretary of State — Democrat Kathleen Clyde, Republican Frank LaRose, and Libertarian Dustin Nanna.

State Treasurer — Democrat Bob Richardson and Republican Robert Sprague.

Information on those races can be found at websites for the various candidates.

There are also two local school issues on today’s ballot.

Lincolnview Local Schools is seeking renewal of a 2.5-mill, five-year permanent improvement levy on the ballot. The levy, first approved in 1974 and renewed every five years since then, provides money earmarked for maintenance and capital purchases — items with a lifespan of at least five years — and cannot be used for employee salaries and benefits.

The levy would not cost Lincolnview taxpayers any additional money, and currently costs the owner of a $100,000 house approximately $32 a year.

Crestview Local Schools is seeking renewal of its existing 1-percent, five-year income tax levy, which was first approved by voters in 2004, and later renewed in 2008 and 2013. The advantage of an income tax levy is that is has the ability to increase revenues over time as taxpayers’ income increases, unlike traditional property tax levies, which decrease over time. The income tax levy thus helps the school district combat inflation more effectively.

The levy helps fund employee salaries and benefits, as well as pay utility costs, the cost of supplies and materials, and purchased and contracted services.

Also on the ballot is State Issue 1, which would do away with prison time for drug possession charges (click here for more information on the issue).

Polling sites are as follows:

Delphos city precincts in Van Wert County vote at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3035, 213 W. Fourth St. in Delphos.

Van Wert city precincts and Pleasant Township East, West, and North vote at the Van Wert County Council on Aging Senior Center, 220 Fox Road in Van Wert.

The village of Convoy and Harrison, Tully, and Union townships vote at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 6727 Ohio 49, Convoy.

The village of Middle Point and Hoaglin, Jackson, and Ridge townships vote at the Community Building, 303 W. Sycamore St. in Middle Point.

Jennings and York township voters vote at Kingsley United Methodist Church, 15482 Mendon Road, Ohio City.

The village of Ohio City and Liberty Township vote at the Community Building, 306 Lambert St. in Ohio City.

Washington East and West precincts vote at the Washington Township House, 22693-B Lincoln Highway in Delphos.

And Willshire and Wren area voters vote at Praise Point Church, 555 Decatur Road in Willshire.

POSTED: 11/06/18 at 9:36 am. FILED UNDER: News