Local attorney Melissa Tuttle has won the Republican primary race for Clark County Common Pleas Clerk.
Tuttle will face Ron Vincent, a Democrat who has served in the seat since 1976, in the November general election.
She won with about 56 percent of the votes, according to final, unofficial results. Former Clark County Department of Job and Family Services Director Bob Suver had 44 percent of the votes, according to final, unofficial results from the Clark County Board of Elections.
“I am completely humbled. I greatly appreciate the fact that Clark County is ready to make the change and wants to have young leaders make a stand and help move this community move forward,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle said she wants to improve procedures and upgrade technology in the office, including making court documents available online and accepting credit card payments.
“I am entirely grateful that I will hopefully be representing the Republicans on the ballot in November and hopefully bringing Clark County and the clerk’s office into the 21st Century, updating and being able to do everything that other counties have done in the state. And helping the citizens of Clark County the best way possible,” Tuttle said.
Suver said his experience working in a county department — beginning in 1973 as the fiscal officer for the JFS, then as assistant director from 1976 to 1994, and then director from 1994 to 2013 — gave him the ability to lead a county office through major changes.
Suver retired abruptly in 2013 after he was accused of insubordination and clashed with the county administrator over a youth jobs program contract.
State auditors issued a finding for recovery in 2014 for nearly $25,000 against Suver and former DJFS Fiscal Administrator Jean Chepp, accusing them of using two off-the-book accounts to move a check from the non-profit Rocking Horse Center to the Children Services levy campaign in 2010.
A special prosecutor later determined no criminal charges were warranted against the two. In December, a settlement agreement said the state will keep $3,685 already withheld from Suver’s tax returns, but won’t pursue the remaining money.
Tuttle has been a practicing lawyer since 2013.
She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and a law degree from Capital University Law School. Her law practice is in estate planning, business law, probate, civil litigation, real estate, criminal and domestic cases.
Tuttle said she had an advantage in the race because she knows the technology lawyers and others need in the clerk’s office.
Tuttle said she looks forward to facing Vincent in the general election.
“It is amazing practicing in other counties what we don’t have in Clark County. I think that this … maybe gives a negative connotation as to who we are in Clark County. I want to make sure we are leading edge, we’re growing and I want to be in the forefront of helping to make Clark County better and moving it into the next century,” Tuttle said.
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