The race for Clark County Commissioner features Republican incumbent Sasha Rittenhouse, plus independents Dale Henry and Tracey Tackett. The candidates’ answers are below, in their own words. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, except in the case of candidates who did not respond.
Organizations, boards, previous elected positions: President of Gammon House, the Underground Railroad site and only local designated African American landmark in Clark County; 33rd Degree Mason with Champion Lodge #15, Commander of American Legion Post 125; AMVETS Post 25 Trustee; Ferncliff Cemetery Association Board; Former Mayor of Springfield (Mayor 2 years, Assistant Mayor 6 years)
Education: Wright State University- Bachelor of Arts – Urban Studies; Clark State Community College – Landscaping
Current Employment: Reading Tutor- Springfield City School District- Fulton Elementary School
Why are you seeking elected office: To serve the entire Clark County citizenry, to provide balance between county and city government and offer fresh ideas to promote tourism, protect our water and attract businesses that pay high wages
Why should voters elect you: I am results-oriented with a long history of accomplishments in many areas of the community. I am the only veteran in this race who has served in positions with the city, the county, the state, the local school district and I intend to be a good steward of county resources
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1- Support law enforcement, 2- improve tourism, 3- bring businesses that provide good living wages for families
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Finalize completion of the 911 Dispatch Center, pay sheriff deputies comparable wages to surrounding counties, promote addition of a 4-H Museum, examine prospects of a conservatory, develop plans for attracting high technology-related jobs and work with regional college consortium to prepare for the next generation
Anything else you would like voters to know? I look forward to using my energy and vision to improve Clark County by working diligently with all city, municipality, and township citizens and elected officials.
Residence: New Carlisle
Organizations, boards, previous elected positions: Ohio Cattlemen’s Association-Member (2004-Present) Board of Directors (2012-2021) President (2018-2019); Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation- Board of Directors (2012-2021) President (2020-2021); National Cattlemen’s Beef Association- Member (2004- Present) Board of Directors (2016-2019) Ohio Farm Bureau- Member; Clark County Farm Bureau- Member; Clark County Cattle Producers- Member; Springfield Elks- Member; New Carlisle Rotary- Member; Honey Creek Presbyterian Church-Member; Clark County 4-H- Volunteer
Education: The Ohio State University- Bachelor’s of Science, Animal Science, Minor in Agricultural Business (2004); Clark State College- Associates Degree, Agricultural Business (2000)
Current employment: Small Business and farm owner since 1997; R 5 Feeders LLC, Co-Owned with my husband Scott; R Enterprise LLC, Co-Owned with my husband Scott; Clark County Ohio, Clark County Commissioner
Why are you seeking elected office: I am seeking elected office because as President of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association I spent a lot of time being the bridge of communication between the membership of OCA and our elected officials and governing bodies at the local, state, and federal level. I truly enjoyed my role in supporting and fighting for small businesses, farmers, and cattlemen and women across our state and making their livelihoods better. I would like to use this passion and experience and be an asset to Clark County and its residence.
Why should voters elect you: I am an experienced leader and business owner. I have navigated difficult issues that affect the livelihoods of many people. I am not afraid to fight on their behalf. As a lifelong resident of Clark County, it is my goal to continue to build a community that thrives and is a place our children and grandchildren will be successful in.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1, Support our law enforcement. I want to make sure they get the tools and resources that they need to be successful and recruit and retain the best. 2, Continue to chip away at the mental health crisis. This is not a situation that is unique to Clark County, but we must continue to work and address the issue on a local level. We need additional tools and resources to help those who are struggling and prevent issues when possible. 3, Invest in the Clark County Fairgrounds. We have a gem in our community that draws people from around the country to attend boat races, livestock shows, and many other events. I want to continue to invest in the fairgrounds to capitalize on its potential and allow it to remain a major economic driver for our community.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? I will remain engaged in what our community needs and continue to collaborate with our leaders, elected officials, and experts to develop solutions that will solve problems. I will work to create new ideas that will strengthen our community and build a better tomorrow.
Anything else you would like voters to know? Having been a Commissioner for Clark County since June 1, 2022, I have already begun investing in our community and creating solutions to invest in youth and workforce development. I am excited and ready to continue representing the voters of Clark County for another 4 years.
Organizations, boards, previous elected positions: Leadership Clark County Alumni 2008, Citizens Police Academy Alumni 2021 and currently serving as the Fundraising Chair for activities in support of local law enforcement such as the Springfield Police Golf Outing which helps support other law enforcement led events in my community such as National Night Out, Operation Thanksgiving and Christmas, Epilepsy Foundation of Ohio Board Member, National Epilepsy Foundation Board Member, Advocate for Nationwide Children’s Hospital On Our Sleeves Movement and the Ryan Day Foundation for children’s mental health of Ohio, former Board member of the Springfield Arts Council, former Ambassador to the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, former Board member of the American Cancer Society of Clark County, former Chair of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Celebrity luncheon committee member. Former volunteer of Junior Achievement, current Chair of the Springfield downtown Trick or Treat and Golden Egg Hunt.
Education: Wittenberg University graduate May 2022, currently at The Ohio State University expected graduation May 2024.
Current employment: Small Business Owner for 9 years, Sip & Dipity Paint Bar LLC.
Why are you seeking elected office: People over Politics- that is why I am campaigning for Clark County Commissioner. I believe that the citizens of Clark County simply want a better Clark County- regardless of politics. I am willing to work to build bridges across the current political divide. I am willing to reach out to people that hold different perspectives and listen to what they have to say to improve life in Clark County for all of our citizens.
Why should voters elect you: Voters should consider my service to county organizations and citizens over the past 20 years as a servant leader, not even as an elected official. My track record of organizing community events to bring people together and improve community culture is apparent. My service to county and state organizations in leadership roles has prepared me to serve as the next Clark County Commissioner.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My top priorities are to advocate for law enforcement and first responders, to investigate economic support for small businesses, and to improve county infrastructure specifically the 911 Dispatch Center and the County Jail.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? The primary concerns of county government are public safety and critical infrastructure. As County Commissioner, I will work to make sure that county law enforcement and first responders are receiving competitive wages and benefits so that Clark County can attract and retain quality personnel in these important public safety roles. I will push for the completion of the new 911 Dispatch Center and for much needed renovations at the County Jail to allow county employees to take pride in their jobs as they provide quality service to Clark County residents. Strong retail and manufacturing sectors along with thriving small businesses in our community are important to the economic health and well-being of Clark County. I will seek out ways to attract businesses to Clark County, encourage entrepreneurship, and to support those businesses that already exist.
Anything else you would like voters to know? I am endorsed as an Independent candidate by the United Autoworkers, both State and Local Firefighters Association, the Springfield Police Patrolmen’s Association, the Matriots PAC, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.