WILMINGTON — Wednesday marked the final day for the declaration of partisan candidates and local issues for the May primary ballot. The final result will see contested primary races in the elections for the Mayor of Wilmington, Wilmington City Council – First Ward, and Clinton County Municipal Court Judge.
The mayoral primary will see incumbent John Stanforth go up against former sheriff and commissioner Pat Haley. The first ward election will be between Joshua Schlabach and Kelly Tolliver.
The Clinton County Municipal Judge election will include Wilmington City Prosecutor David Henry, practicing attorney Judy Gano, and Wilmington Law Director Brett Rudduck competing.
All aforementioned candidates are registered Republicans.
Shane Breckel, the director of the Clinton County Board of Elections, told the News Journal that candidates for the May primaries will be certified on Feb. 10 at a special meeting. Meanwhile, independent candidates will be certified in June.
Partisan candidates who filed their petitions so far include Matt Purkey (R) for Wilmington Council President; Michael Snarr (D) for Wilmington Council – Second Ward; Don Wells (R) for Wilmington Council – Third Ward; Bob Osborn (R) for Wilmington Council – Fourth Ward; Jamie Knowles, Jonathan McKay, and David Nanstad (all Republican) for the three Wilmington At-Large seats; John Carman (R) for Mayor of Blanchester; and John Hill (R) for Blanchester Village Council.
The only independent candidate who has filed a petition is Jason Stoops, who is running for mayor of Wilmington. The final day for independent candidates to file is May 1.
Independents who currently haven’t filed their petitions include Joshua Engel for Wilmington Law Director; Nicholas Snelling for Wilmington Council – Third Ward; James Burch, James Constable, and Betsy Wellman for Blanchester Council.
Partisan candidates who didn’t file their petitions on time were Molly Boatman and Dow Tippet, both Republicans who were running for the Wilmington At-Large seats.
Local school districts are looking to pass tax levies again
The Wilmington City School District has filed to put a proposed annual income tax of 0.75% on the ballot. This would be on the “school district income of individuals and of estates” for five years, starting on Jan. 1, 2024.
The purpose of the tax would go toward “current expenses and general ongoing permanent improvements,” according to district officials.
The Wilmington City School District attempted to pass a 1% income tax in November, but it failed with 3,484 votes against it and 3,144 votes for it.
Kim DeWeese, Wilmington City Schools treasurer, told the News Journal since the renewal didn’t pass they were looking at what the next step would be.
The money would go into general funds and help pay salaries, benefits, transportation, and fuel, according to DeWeese.
Blanchester Local Schools have filed two tax levies: an annual 1% income tax and an additional tax to help with permanent improvements. The latter levy indicates it will not exceed 5.20 mills “for each $1 of taxables value, which amounts of $182 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value” over five years.
Other candidate news:
• Dallas Kratzer and outgoing Wilmington Council member Bill Liermann have taken out petitions for the Wilmington City School Board election.
• James Kratzer took out a petition to run for Vernon Township Trustee again.