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Few choices on the ballot for Champaign primary

Voters in Champaign County face a May 6 primary election that will include only a handful of issues plus several races that are uncontested.

Republican incumbents are unopposed for county commissioner, auditor and two juvenile and probate judge positions.

The lone contested race on the primary ballot is for Ohio’s Representative for the 85th District. John Adams, the incumbent, has already served four terms and will not be allowed to run for re-election due to term limits. The seat serves Champaign County, as well as portions of Logan and Shelby counties.

Nino Vitale, of Urbana, has filed a petition to run for the 85th District along with C. Douglas Chamberlain of Bellefontaine and Robert J. Luckey, III, of Sidney. All three candidates are Republicans. Dave Easton, a Constitution Party candidate from Sidney, has also filed to run for the seat.

All local races are uncontested. Republican Bob Corbett is running unopposed for Champaign County commissioner, while Karen Bailey will run unopposed for Champaign County auditor. Lori Reisinger and Brett Gilbert are running unopposed for their current roles in the Champaign County Common Pleas Court’s Juvenile and Probate division.

One reason there are few contested races is the candidates in place are doing a good job, said Al Evans, chairman of the Champaign County Republican Party. The party also tried to avoid contested primaries in cases where there is an incumbent, Evans said.

He said the officials currently in place have earned the respect of both parties, and county residents have traditionally voted Republican.

“I just think with the countywide offices, it’s just tough for a Democrat to win,” Evans said.

Richard Kerns, who will run uncontested for the Democratic State Central Committee, said the party has fielded good candidates in the past, but it is sometimes difficult to get Democratic voters to the ballot box.

“It’s just a hard nut to crack right now,” Kerns said.

Only a handful of issues will be on the ballot this spring. The Triad Local School District is seeking a two-year, 0.5 percent permanent improvement income tax. If approved, the income tax would generate about $569,000 a year, which would be used for projects like technology improvements, roof repair, safety and security upgrades and repairing parking lots. The money cannot be used for salaries or benefits for employees.

The Mechanicsburg Exempted Village School District will also ask for a 10-year, 1.96-mill emergency renewal levy. The West Liberty-Salem local School District is also asking voters to renew an existing 1.5-mill levy for capital projects.

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