LIMA — Five Republicans and one Democrat will be vying to replace outgoing Allen County Commissioner Jay Begg, who recently decided he will not seek reelection in 2020.
The crowded Republican field includes three businessmen, the former mayor of Bluffton and a program coordinator with the Allen and Water Conservation District, who will compete for the GOP nomination in the March 17 primary.
Financial adviser Tim Sielschott and real estate investor Alan Tyrrell Jr., both Republicans, declared their candidacies on Wednesday hours before the 4 p.m. filing deadline.
Sielschott, who owns Sielschott Financial Services in Lima, said he wants to make Allen County the most comfortable place to start a business.
“I really like it here and feel that this position is in the middle of where you can make some positive movement for the community, get some things going even more in the right direction and move the county forward,” said Sielschott, who returned to Lima after college in 2004.
Tyrrell is also interested in business growth, citing his experience managing his family’s business, Uncle Al’s Pizza, and opening a real estate branch in Gomer this past June.
“My goal is to help our county prosper by small business growth,” said Tyrrell, himself a lifelong resident of Allen County. “By getting businesses to collaborate to where we can improve the quality of Lima and surrounding townships.”
The lone Democratic contestant, Norman Capps, is a retired U.S. Army veteran and long-time Perry Township trustee who worked construction with Local 776.
Capps has served on the Allen County Regional Planning Board and as a representative for the commissioners to the Allen County Development Corporation, among other community and civic roles. He is now serving his fourth term as a Perry Township trustee and is a member of the Tri-State Gun Collectors and National Rifle Association.
“I think I offer a different vantage point than many of the members we’ve had before,” Capps said. “Everyone knows being a Democrat in Allen County is an uphill struggle. (I) just (have) a different point of view. Being open-minded and a clear choice moving forward.”
Allen Soil and Water District program coordinator Beth Seibert was the first candidate to file a petition in the GOP primary on Monday, followed by businessman Greg Stolly and former Bluffton mayor Judy Augsburger.
Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan will seek reelection in 2020 as well. He remains uncontested.
Early voting for the March 17 primary begins Feb. 19 at the Allen County Board of Elections, located in the lower level of the Third District Court of Appeals building, 204 N. Main St.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456