Tackett wins Democratic Clark County commission race

A former longtime Clark County commissioner won the Democratic primary Tuesday in his bid to return to the board.

Roger Tackett beat challengers Dale Henry and Darrell Jackson, according to final, unofficial results from the Clark County Board of Elections results. Tackett had nearly 47 percent of the votes, Henry 33 percent and Jackson 20 percent.

“I’m looking forward to the possibility of being back on the board … so I can help with producing jobs in the future for Clark County, working with the (Community Improvement Corp. of Clark County) and helping to do more to help Clark County move forward in a very good way,” Tackett said.

He will likely face in November Republican candidate Melanie Flax Wilt, who owns a local public relations company. Republican New Carlisle City Councilman Lowell McGlothin will also challenge current Democratic County Commissioner David Herier for another seat on the three-member board that oversees a $159 million budget.

Tackett said he is looking forward to facing Flax Wilt in the general election.

“It should be a good race. I hope it will be a clean race and a respectful race. I worked with her grandfather (Gordon Flax) on the board of commissioners. I had great respect for him and I look forward to a spirited race with her,” Tackett said.

Clark County commissioners are paid $65,620 annually and control a budget largely funded by state dollars and a local sales tax, including a half-percent sales tax increase that was recently extended for another five years.

The county has nearly 900 employees who provide wide-ranging public services from sheriff’s deputies to poll workers to road crews.

Tackett was a county commissioner for 28 years. He lost in 2010 to current Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes, a Republican.

He served for two years in the Vietnam War and was critically wounded in 1967 when sniper fire punctured his lung and paralyzed his legs.

Henry served two terms as a Springfield city commissioner, including two years as mayor. He also has served as the deputy director for the Clark County Board of Elections, a member of the county elections board, a regional liaison for the Ohio Secretary of State and Clark County Democratic Party chairman.

Henry said name recognition helped Tackett win the race.

“He’s been on the ballot a lot of times. He got the kind of support out there that was in his favor,” Henry said.

Henry said he’ll regroup and then decide his next step. He said he doesn’t know if he will run again for office.

Jackson is retired Clark County Sheriff’s deputy. He negotiated union contracts for the the Clark County Deputies Association from 1990 to 2012.

Jackson currently works at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.

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