Local primary election approaching


CLINTON COUNTY — Primaries are less than a week away. Locally on Tuesday, May 2, three primary elections will take center stage along with multiple issues on the ballot.

Shane Breckel, director of the Clinton County Board of Elections, told the News Journal that as of Tuesday morning, they’ve sent 179 absentee ballots by mail and have received 101 back from voters. They’ve also had 632 early voters come to the board of elections office.

Breckel wanted to remind locals about items in House Bill 458 that may impact voting. He advised the bill changed the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail to April 25 at 8:30 p.m. The bill also eliminated early voting on the Monday before Election Day with early voting ending on Sunday. Hours on Sunday are from 1-5 p.m.

The bill also changed the acceptable forms of voter ID, according to Breckel.

“For Early Voting and Election Day voting, voters will now be required to provide a photo ID,” according to Breckel. “Acceptable photo ID includes a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, Military ID (including National Guard or VA ID card) or a U.S. passport. Voters without photo ID will be required to cast a provisional ballot.”


For the Mayor of Wilmington, the election is between the incumbent Mayor John Stanforth and Pat Haley, a former sheriff and county commissioner.

The winner of the GOP primary will go against independent candidate Jason Stoops in November.

In the Clinton County Municipal Court election, three judges seek to fill the seat left by the late Mike Daugherty.

The candidates include David Henry, who was recently appointed to the seat by Governor Mike DeWine, former magistrate Judy Gano, and Wilmington Law Director Brett Rudduck.

The other GOP primary on the ballot is for Wilmington City Council First Ward seat. The two candidates for that seat are Joshua Schlabach and Kelly Tolliver.


Tax levies for Wilmington and Blanchester schools will be voted on at the May primary. For Wilmington City Schools, it’s a proposed annual income tax of .75% on “the school district income of individuals and of estates for 5 years, beginning January 1, 2024, for the purpose of current expenses and general ongoing permanent improvements,” according to the Board of Elections (BOE) website.

Blanchester Local School District placed two issues on the ballot. The first is a proposed annual income tax of 1 percent on earned income of residents of the district. If passed it will last five years beginning on Jan. 1, 2024. The BOE websites says the purpose of it would be for current expenses and general “ongoing permanent improvements.”

The second issue is “an additional tax for the purpose of permanent improvements, that the county auditor estimates will collect $1,073,860 annually, at a rate not exceeding 5.20 mills for each $1 of taxable value, which amounts to $182 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value, for a period of five years, commencing in 2023, first due in calendar year 2024,” according to the BOE website.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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