Petitions certified, no changes expected

With petitions officially certified and accepted by the Auglaize County Elections Board, no changes are expected for the March primary.
“It’s a formality,” Auglaize County Elections Director Carolyn Campbell said.
Board members reviewed the petitions submitted for candidates in county races and then gave them their signatures of approval. All the petitions provided a sufficient number of valid signatures to be accepted.
With the March primary election field set, only one county official is expected to face competition this fall.
Republican Auglaize County Recorder Chris Lambert, who was appointed in September to succeed Ann Billings, is being challenged by Anne Hamilton, a Democrat from New Bremen. The two are expected to face off in the November general election for the recorder’s post, with a term beginning Jan. 7, 2013.
Other petitions approved for incumbent county officials not facing competition include, county commissioners John Bergman and Donald Regula, Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce, Clerk of Courts Jean Meckstroth, Engineer Doug Reinhart, Coroner Thomas Freytag, Treasurer April Bowersock, and Sheriff Al Solomon.
Four issues also are to appear on the March primary — New Bremen Schools are asking for a 7.3-mill property tax levy, for an Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) school facility project, and a 1-mill permanent improvement levy.
Voters in three precincts in Wapakoneta, St. Marys and Waynesfield will be voting on Sunday liquor sales at the Wapakoneta Wal-Mart, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Ricks Place, respectively.
A second primary is scheduled for June to decide U.S. House seats and presidential candidates for the November general election but state lawmakers were reviewing a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the second primary in 2012 and consolidate next year’s two scheduled primaries back into one. Action on the bill was temporarily delayed by an Ohio House panel on Wednesday so lawmakers could meet behind closed doors to continue discussing the timing.
Under the bill, separate primaries set for March and June would be reunited on May 22, with candidates, including presidential contenders, having until March 8 to file. Those who met a deadline last week, would not have to refile.
In October, the Legislature moved the presidential and U.S. House primaries to June to allow more time to settle a congressional map dispute, but critics have said the maneuver would cost more money and confuse voters.
A new bill repeals provisions of the former bill, which established the two primary elections in 2012 and repeals plans to reimburse county election boards for the costs of a June primary, which were estimated at close to $15 million.