Analysis: Four local races to watch Tuesday

The Lima News

Three local races and an income-tax issue stand out on area ballots in the primary election Tuesday. The Lima News sizes them up:

Allen County

With five Republican candidates running for one commissioner’s seat, two candidates could split the majority of votes only to see a third candidate end up with the most votes and a win.

Look for a close three-person race between (in alphabetical order) Greg Stolly, Beth Seibert and Tim Sielschott. The other two candidates — Judy Augsburger and Alan Tyrrell Jr. — will play spoiler.

Stolly is on target when he talks about the need for the county to divest itself of buildings it owns. Maintaining those buildings is costly, he points out. Stolly has worn many hats in the business world and says his “business mindset” and persistence are qualities the job demands.

Seibert points to her record. She has worked with every commissioner in the past 25 years through her involvement with the Allen Soil and Water Conservation District. She is currently the national secretary for the organization. She said finding funds for infrastructure improvements — bridges, roads and buildings — are among the most important challenges facing commissioners.

Sielschott, 38, says it is time to welcome a new generation of leadership into Allen County. He talks about the need for the county and city of Lima to work together as one unit. Calling himself a conservative who will explore different routes to help fund county agencies, he suggests a review of Allen County’s properties to see if there are opportunities to divest or enter into public-private partnerships.

The other two candidates are Judy Augsburger and Alan Tyrrell Jr.

Augsburger is a former mayor of Bluffton. She points to the need to keep Allen County’s sales tax low and to put together a plan to either maintain or sale county property.

Tyrrell is the youngest of the five candidates at age 24, but also sees the need for a new leaders. He points to a strong work ethic — he’s an Eagle Scout and manager of the popular “Uncle Al’s Pizza” in Gomer.

No Democrat filed for the opening, however, the winner of the Republican primary will face at least one independent candidate. Former Allen County Sheriff Dan Beck, who as an independent candidate won election after election during his 16 years as sheriff in heavily Republican Allen County, is again carrying the torch of an independent.

Allen/Van Wert counties

It’s pretty simple for Delphos voters. Their school district has already been placed under “fiscal caution” by the Ohio Department of Education. If they don’t pass a 0.5% traditional income tax, the community is going to have a school system that is inching closer to a state takeover.

Delphos is the only district in Ohio with a deficit this year. The district has invoked a hiring and spending freeze; has cut out funding for continuing education of teachers and allows no reimbursements for mileage, hotels or meals. It sold an administrative building for $100,000.

Auglaize County

Both Republican candidates have solid fiscal backgrounds, but that ends the similarities between Dave Bambauer of New Knoxville and Steve Henderson of Wapakoneta as they seek the Auglaize County commissioner seat coming open with the retirement of Don Regula.

Bambauer spent 23 years as the fiscal officer for Washington Township. He also has been owner and chief financial officer of Bambauer Fertilizer and Seed Inc. Maintaining and upgrading infrastructure in Auglaize County is high on Bambauer’s priority list.

Henderson has been a fixture on the political and economic development scene in Wapakoneta, serving 20-plus years as president of Wapakoneta City Council and 15 years as vice president of the Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council. He says he takes pride in building the county job base and sticking up for the little guy.

Putnam County

It is hard to argue with Lori Rayle’s claim to be the best fit for Putnam County recorder, having served as deputy recorder for the past 15 years. Troy Recker feels he deserves the job being vacated by his ill wife, who is retiring. Recker claims 30 years of property records experience and 25 years as a Putnam County deputy engineer.

The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Dawn Magg in the Nov. 3 general election.

The Lima News

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