WILMINGTON — With less than a week to go until the filing deadline, nine people have officially expressed interest in becoming one of two Clinton County Commissioners – those officials in charge of millions of dollars of public spending, zoning and annexation as well as general administration and policy-making at the county level.
Voters will decide in the Ohio primary on March 15.
Clinton County Commissioner Mike Curry announced he wouldn’t seek re-election after 16 years as commissioner and nine as a Liberty Township trustee. In his wake, five people have considered the seat.
Those five have already returned paperwork with signatures for the Clinton County Board of Elections’ to review. Those potential candidates are Mike McCarty, Terry Habermehl, Scott Holmer, Brenda K. Woods and Gregory W. Grove. All are listed as Republicans.
Clinton County Commissioner Kerry Steed faces three possible opponents in his re-election bid – Billy Arehart, Dean Feldmeyer and James G. Fife. Fife and Steed have returned signed petitions; Arehart and Feldmeyer haven’t. All are Republicans, except for Feldmeyer, who is listed as a Democrat. Feldmeyer will be unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face the Republican nominee for that seat.
All commissioner candidates reported an address in or near Wilmington, except for Woods, who lives near Sabina.
Candidates seeking a party’s nomination must file by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16.
The board of elections will certify the petitions of those candidates who file. In the last election, several candidates in different races were disqualified by the board due to errors on their petitions.
Those petitions must be certified by Dec. 28, according to an elections calendar published by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, but Clinton County Board of Elections Director Shane Breckel said the board hopes to certify its petitions on Dec. 22.
Other county positions are also on the ballot in 2016. Engineer Jeffrey B. Linkous, Treasurer Jason F. Walt, Clerk of Courts Cynthia R. Bailey and Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. have all filed petitions and are currently unopposed.
Independent candidates must file by March 14, Breckel said.
Write-in candidates must file their intent to run by Jan. 4, according to Breckel, which is also the deadline for protests against partisan candidates and local options. Protests against write-in candidates are due Jan. 8.
Citizens who wish to vote by absentee ballot may apply for such a ballot beginning Jan. 1.
Residents who need to register to vote must do so by or on Feb. 16.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.