BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
egebert@timesbulletin.com
VAN WERT — The early voting period in Van Wert County has concluded with decent turnout, considering the lack of choices on the primary ballots for the May 6 election.
The Republican primary in this county is very limited in choices, especially in the county elections. Thad Lichtensteiger is seeking his second term as county commissioner. Lichtensteiger took over for the retired Harold Merkle after winner in 2010. Judge Kevin Taylor is running to retain his seat as judge of the Probate/Juvenile Division of Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. Taylor was appointed to replace retired Judge Rex Fortney on the bench in March 2012. Neither Lichtensteiger nor Taylor have any opposition on the ballot.
In the same way on the Democrat side, Van Wert County Auditor Nancy Dixon is seeking re-election. Dixon has worked in the Auditor’s office since 1959 when she began working for her father. She has been auditor since 1973.
The only contest in the central committee election is in York Township where Scott Miller is being challenged by Brian O’Neill.
There is a contest for the Ohio State Senate District 1 seat. State Sen. Cliff Hite is looking to win another term, but he faces opposition from Middle Point farmer and businessman Milo Schaffner, and also Kunkle, Ohio pastor Corey Shankleton. Hite moved from the Ohio House to the Ohio Senate when he was named to replace Steve Buhrer who was appointed to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation in 2011.
. Tony Burkley of Paulding has represented the Ohio House 82nd District since winning the seat in 2012. He is being challenged in the primary by newcomer Brett W. Eley.
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta is not being challenged in the 5th Congressional District in the primary, but Democrat challenger Robert Fry, a Delphos Jefferson alumnus, will be running against Latta in November, as will Libertarian Eric Eberly. Latta first won the House seat in December 2007, winning a special election to replace former Rep. Paul Gillmor who had passed away earlier that year.
Judge Vernon Preston is up for re-election on the Third District Court of Appeals. Preston has served on the appeallate court for seven years. He has also worked as a trial judge for 12 years and three years as a magistrate.
There is also one proposed Constitutional amendment on the May 6 ballot. The proposal would permit the issuance of general obligation bonds for the funding of public infrastructure capital improvements.