The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

GOP wins county auditor, treasurer posts

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Van Wert County auditor’s office, which has been Democratic for more than four decades, will now have a Republican in that position with Tuesday’s general election win by Philip Baxter over Sara Lape, daughter of retiring Auditor Nancy Dixon. The vote was 6,539 (61.71 percent) for Baxter to 4,058 (38.29 percent) for Lape.

Van Wert County voters mark their ballots this afternoon at the Van Wert County Council on Aging’s Senior Center on Fox Road. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Republicans also retained the county treasurer’s position with a win by Nathan Vandenbroek, who was appointed to that position in September by the Van Wert County Republican Central Committee to replace retiring treasurer Bev Fuerst. Vandenbroek won 7,084 (67.24 percent) to 3,451 (32.76 percent) over retired Van Wert City Schools teacher Bonnie Thatcher.

“I’m very honored and excited to be able to serve Van Wert County,” said Vandenbroek, who was at the Board of Elections office when vote totals were released. “The goal was to represent the folks here first and foremost; when we got into the position after Bev retired, we had that in mind: to be fiscally responsible.”

Vandenbroek said he was also pleased that he has nearly completed continuing education requirements of the treasurer’s position after only two months on the job.

Both Vandenbroek’s and Baxter’s victories were pretty much countywide, with Vandenbroek winning all 39 county precincts and Baxter taking all but one precinct: Van Wert 4A, which Lape won 93-80 (click here for a precinct-by-precinct tabulation for the county treasurer’s race; click here for a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of the county auditor’s race).

Other Republican legislators also did well in the county, with U.S. Senator Bob Latta winning the county 8,217 to 2,166 for Democratic challenger J. Michael Galbraith. State Senator Rob McColley (R-1st) also outpolled Democrat challenger Adam Papin 8,129 to 2,339, and State Representative Craig Riedel (R-82nd) easily defeated Democratic opponent Aden Baker 8,271 to 2,298.

State government candidates also did well in Van Wert County and across the state as well, with Republicans retaining the top state offices of governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, and treasurer. The Republican gubernatorial slate of Mike DeWine and Jon Husted received 8,063 votes to 2,276 for Democratic challengers Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton in Van Wert County.

Republican attorney general candidate Dave Yost received 8,218 votes in the county to just 2,286 votes for Democrat challenger Steve Dettelbach, while secretary of state candidate Frank LaRose, a Republican, outpolled Democratic opponent Kathleen Clyde 7,971 to 2,292.

The Republicans’ candidate for state treasurer, Robert Sprague, also received more votes, 8,038, in the county than Democrat Bob Richardson (2,382).

The news was also positive for both county school districts with tax issues on the ballot.

Voters approved Crestview Local Schools’ 1-percent, five-year income tax levy renewal 1,188 (64.35 percent) to 773 (35.65 percent), while Lincolnview Local Schools’ 2.5-mill, five-year permanent improvement renewal levy was approved by voters 1,130 (64.35 percent) to 626 (35.65 percent).

Crestview Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf was happy that voters’ approved the income tax levy, noting this was third renewal of the levy since its initial passage in 2004.

“We’re really pleased the voters once again supported our income tax levy,” Mollenkopf said.

Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder was also pleased the district’s 2.5-mill, five-year permanent improvement levy passed.

“We’re super excited that it passed,” Snyder said, noting that the district has been blessed by voters who have supported this particular levy through many renewals since its original passage in 1974. “For five more years we’ll do our best job to take care of facilities.”

Also statewide, Issue 1, a constitutional amendment to lower drug possession penalties from felonies to misdemeanors, was defeated by voters.

Although he took a beating in Van Wert County, with voters here giving his Republican opponent, Jim Renacci, 7,622 votes while he received just 2,979 votes, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, still easily retained his seat when votes were tabulated from all around the state.

POSTED: 11/07/18 at 2:33 am. FILED UNDER: News