OTTAWA — While some elections are all about change, voters in Putnam County on Tuesday were all about the status quo.
Two incumbents were returned to seats in countywide offices and a third candidate, while not technically an incumbent, will officially take over the office she’s essentially run for the past several months.
Unofficial results from Tuesday’s general election balloting saw incumbents Vincent Schroeder and Michael Borer claim victory in their contested races for county commissioner and probate/juvenile judge, respectively. Lori Rayle outdistanced Dawn Maag in the race for county recorder.
Voter turnout in the county was 83%. More than 12,000 early ballots were cast, representing slightly more than 50% of all registered voters.
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump captured 82.6% of the vote in Putnam County, with 16% for Democrat Joe Biden.
Schroeder, a Republican, outdistanced first-time candidate Tim Wehri by garnering 58.5% of the vote to win his fifth term on the Putnam County board of commissioners. Schroeder campaigned on the basis of his 16 years of experience and his conservative approach to fiscal matters.
Schroeder could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday night.
Wehri, an Independent who recently retired after a teaching career at Delphos St. John’s High School, also described himself as a fiscal conservative.
Republican Michael Lammers was unopposed for the Jan. 2 seat on the board.
Borer held off a stiff challenge from Matthew Cunningham in the non-partisan race for judge of the Putnam County Probate/Juvenile Court. Borer, a Democrat who has held the seat since 2011, garnered 54.8% of the countywide vote to reclaim the seat.
“You never win an election by yourself, and I had a lot of support and help from family and friends,” Borer said after the results were in. “I had no grand strategy, but whatever we did, it paid off. I feel blessed and very relieved that (the election) is over.”
Cunningham, a Republican making his first run at elected office, called his 21 years of legal work on both sides of the bench — as a private attorney and also as a magistrate in Findlay Municipal Court — as the keys to his candidacy.
With incumbent Cathy Recker opting not to seek another term as Putnam County Recorder, voters turned to Rayle, a Republican who has worked in the office for the past 15 years, many of those as deputy recorder.
She polled 79.6% of the countywide vote to 20% for Democrat Dawn Maag.
Rayle, of rural Ottawa, won the Republican primary against Recker’s husband, Troy. Maag, of Ottawa, spent the past 17 years working in the legal profession, including as a paralegal for two real estate law firms.
Elected to countywide offices without opposition in Tuesday’s balloting were Clerk of Courts Kim Redman, Sheriff Brian Siefker, Treasurer Tracy Warnecke, Engineer Michael Lenhart and Coroner Jennifer Maag, all Republicans, and Prosecuting Attorney Gary Lammers, a Democrat.
• A Blanchard Township replacement levy for fire protection was approved, 72% to 27%.
• A replacement levy for road repairs in Greensburg Township passed, 70% to 29%.
• The Board of Developmental Disabilities renewal levy for current expenses and maintenance at Brookhill Center was approved, 73% to 26%.
• Cloverdale voters approved a renewal levy for current expenses, 60% to 39%.
• In Columbus Grove, a renewal levy for current expenses won approval, 65% to 34%.
• In Continental, a renewal levy for current expenses was approved, 67% to 32%.
• Gilboa voters said yes to a renewal levy for current expenses, 67% to 32%.
• Pandora voters approved the sale of beer at Rodabaugh Bros. Meats by a 70% to 29% margin.
• In Monterey Township, a fire renewal levy was approved, 85% to 14%.
• Palmer Township voters approved a renewal levy for roads and bridges, 72% to 27%. A fire renewal levy was also okayed, 74% to 25%.
• In Perry Township, voters said yes, 70% to 29%, to a renewal levy for roads.
• Pleasant Township voters approved a renewal levy for fire equipment, 72% to 27%.
• In Van Buren Township, voters by a 65% to 34% margin approved a renewal levy for current expenses.
• County voters in McComb schools approved a renewal levy for permanent improvements, 50% to 50% (overlap).
• A renewal levy for emergency requirements at Ottawa-Glandorf schools was approved 62% to 37%.
• County voters in Patrick Henry schools passed a renewal levy, 50% to 50% (overlap).
• Voters in the Vantage Career Center district okayed a renewal levy, 72% to 27% (overlap).