Voters will make decisions in races in Clark and Champaign counties in Tuesday’s primary election. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Clark, Champaign County voters head to the polls Tuesday

Clark and Champaign County residents will head to the polls on Tuesday to vote on a number of primary races.

In the primary election, residents will cast their votes for Democratic and Republican candidates — setting the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

In Clark County’s primary, a veteran office-holder is seeking to return to the commission, the clerk is facing competition from within her own party and two veteran law enforcement officers will face-off to earn the right to run for sheriff against incumbent Sheriff Deborah Burchett in November.

In Champaign County’s primary, the incumbent sheriff will face off against a former Clark County Sheriff’s sergeant and two incumbent commissioners will battle it out against two candidates who have never run for a county position.

Clark County Sheriff

Two Democrats will square off for a chance to take on Clark County’s sheriff in November’s general election.

Russell Garman will face Mike Varner in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. The winner of the primary race will face the current Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett, a Republican.

Garman holds an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Clark State Community College and has 40 years of law enforcement experience — 36 of which were served at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Currently, he serves as a lieutenant at the German Twp. Police Department.

Varner is a United States Marine Corps veteran with 25 years of service with the City of Springfield Police Division. He holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Read more on the candidates: Democratic primary winner to face Clark County Sheriff in November general election

Clark County Clerk of Courts

Clark County Clerk Melissa Tuttle a challenger in Tuesday’s Republican primary

Tuttle will face Tina Bleything in the Republican Clerk of Courts primary. The winner of will face Democrat Sheila Rice in November’s general election. Rice is running unopposed in the March 17 primary.

Tuttle has been a practicing attorney for more than six years. Prior to that, she worked in banking for five years.

In 2016, Tuttle defeated longtime clerk Ron Vincent, who had served as Clerk of Court for nearly three decades.

Bleything is 34-year alumna of the Clark and Madison County Department of Job and Family Services. At the department, Bleything worker in the Child Support Enforcement Agency.

For the last four years, Bleything has worked as a real estate agent.

Read more on the candidates: Clark County Clerk of Courts to face challenger in March primary

Clark County Commissioner

A Clark County Commissioner will face a former New Carlisle city council member in Tuesday’s Republican race.

Lowell McGlothin, who has served as a county commissioner for more than three years, is seeking re-election against William Lindsey.

The winner of the race will face Democrat David Hartley in the November general election. Hartley had also faced a primary challenger in Alex Muller, but Muller dropped out of the race in order to focus on his newly formed business, Workforce Connect.

McGlothin previously served on New Carlisle’s city council for 17 years, as well as the city’s mayor for four years.

Lindsey was elected to New Carlisle’s city council in 2015. He served as the city’s vice mayor until the end of his term last year.

Read more on the candidates: Clark County Commissioner faces a primary challenge in March

Champaign County Sheriff

Champaign County’s Sheriff will battle it out against two other candidates on Tuesday.

Incumbent Matthew Melvin will face Chad Burroughs and David Patrick II. The winner of the primary race will face no opponent in November’s general election — therefore securing the sheriff position.

Melvin was elected sheriff in 2012. Prior to becoming sheriff, he served the county as a dispatcher, corrections officer, court services deputy, patrol deputy, sergeant and chief deputy. He holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Clark State Community College.

Burroughs recently resigned from his position at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in order to run for Champaign County Sheriff. In Clark County, Burroughs worked as a sergeant, detective sergeant, major, colonel and law enforcement officer. He also attended the Law Enforcement Academy.

Patrick is a Lieutenant for the Mechanicsburg Police Department. Previously, he has worked as a dispatcher for the Urbana Police Department and Champaign County Communication Center, in the private security and community patrol sector in Columbus and as an officer for the St. Paris and Mechanicsburg Police Departments.

He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in criminal justice and is a founding member and current treasurer of the Mechanicsburg Police Officers Association.

Read more on the candidates: Three on Republican primary ballot for Champaign County Sheriff

Champaign County Commissioners

Champaign County voters will decide if two Republican commissioners will be reelected to their seats —as they each face a challenger.

Incumbent David Faulkner with face Tim Cassady and incumbent Steve Hess will be running against Stacey Logwood. The winner of both primary races will not face a Democratic challenger in November’s general election.

Faulker was first elected to a commissioner in 2012 and was reelected in 2016 after defeating Doug Hoffman.

Cassady has been a Goshen Township Trustee for the last 19 years. In addition to being a business owner, Cassady said he has also served with many community organizations and committees, including on the Champaign County Health District Advisory Council, the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency and the Board of Development Disabilities.

Hess has previously served for three years as a member of the State Board of Trustees for the Ohio Farm Bureau, representing four counties including Champaign.

Logwood is a political newcomer. Currently, she served as the Student, Family and Community Support Coordinator for the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center at Graham Local Schools.

Read more on the candidates: Voters to decide two Champaign County commissioner seats


Electric and natural gas aggregation program on

The Clark County Board of Commissioners is asking voters in five townships to approve the inclusion of an electric and natural gas governmental aggregation program.

The electric and natural gas governmental aggregation allows eligible households and small businesses the opportunity to save money on the generation portions of their electric bills by grouping together to increase their purchasing power.

Green, Harmony, Moorefield, Pleasant and Springfield townships are currently not operating an electric or natural gas aggregation through their townships. To further enhance their residents’ buying power, Clark County will be utilizing the County Commissioner Association of Ohio Service Corporation (CCAOSC) aggregation program.

By grouping together, counties can leverage their buying power when shopping the market, thus securing the best deals possible. All Ohio Edison, Dayton Power and Light, Columbia Gas and Vectren Gas customers are eligible to aggregation program at any time with no fee.

County municipalities currently operating their own governmental electric and/or natural gas aggregation that are included in the program on Tuesday’s ballots are Bethel Twp., German Twp., Mad River Twp. and Pike Twp.

Champaign County Senior Center levy

Champaign County voters will be asked if they are willing to pay more for a new senior citizen facility.

The Urbana Champaign County Senior Center is seeking a five-year, 0.5-mill property tax levy to pay for a new, bigger facility. The UCCSC has over 600 members, employs six people and also uses volunteers.

The one-time levy would generate $2,290,000. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $1.32 a month, or $15.78 a year.

The money will be used to build a new center and expand senior services. The new facility will be about 9,000-square-feet, a 2,000-square-feet expansion from UCCSC’s current facility.

Read more about the levy: Urbana Champaign County Senior Center seeking levy for new facility

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