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County, state primary races — Gould, Lopez win party nominations

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By Carol Simmons and Megan Bachman

Greene County residents will have a new representative joining the county Board of Commissioners in the fall, regardless of who wins the fall general election race, as incumbent Alan G. Anderson was bested in the Republican primary Tuesday, May 8, by challenger Dick Gould.

Gould, the current county treasurer, secured his spot as the Republican candidate with 9,319 (64 percent) of countywide votes to  5,225 (36 percent) for Anderson, according to unofficial final results.

Locally, the six Yellow Springs and Miami Township precincts saw a closer margin. Precinct 400 went 20 to 15 in favor of Gould; 441 voted 15 to 14 for Anderson; 443 saw 16 to 10 for Gould; 455 voted 29 to 18 for Gould; 455 (Miami Township) voted 57 to 42 for Anderson; and 456 (Miami Township) went 40 to 34 for Gould.

In his campaign, Gould called for more financial accountability by the commission and better relationships with county municipalities and townships, particularly concerning economic development needs.

He will be running in the fall against Democratic primary winner Susan Lopez, of Beavercreek.

Lopez handily beat her Democratic opponent, Steve Bujenonvic, a physician who lives in Yellow Springs, by a countywide vote of 5,407 (78 percent) to 1,513 (22 percent), according to the unofficial final results. 

The vote difference bore out in Yellow Springs and Miami Township precincts as well, with local precinct 440 going 261 to 102; 441 voting 157 to 58; 442: 192 to 77; 443: 184 to 112; 455: 40 to 8; and 456: 78 to 41 — all in favor of Lopez.

A program manager of a family resource center in Bellbrook, Lopez is concerned about the affects of the opioid crisis in the area, and, as plans for a new county jail move forward, is encouraging greater focus on treatment and rehabilitation.

Greene County Commissioners serve four-year terms with a $75,000 annual salary. The commission manages a budget of about $50 million and oversee the budgets of all county agencies, including the courts, sheriff’s office, parks and recreation, animal control, coroner, job and family services, children services, regional planning, engineering and soil and water conservation.

County Clerk of Courts

No matter who wins the Greene County Clerk of Courts seat in the November general election, he or she will be from Yellow Springs.

The winners of both the Republican and Democratic primary races are local residents.

In the Republican contest, incumbent AJ Williams defeated challenger Alexander Blaschak, of Spring Valley, by a countywide vote of 7,913 (63 percent) to 4,633 (37 percent).

Locally, Williams took all but one of the six Yellow Springs and Miami Township precincts. In precinct 440, the vote was 16 to 14 in favor of Blaschak. Otherwise, Williams came out ahead: in precinct 441: 21 to 8; 442: 13 to 9; 443: 32 to 10; 455: 52 to 30; and 456: 46 to 18.

Williams, formerly of the county auditor’s office, was appointed to the court clerk’s position after the retirement in December of longtime Clerk of Courts Terri Mazur. He plans to continue efforts begun by Mazur to streamline county records keeping while also working to make the courts system more understandable to the public.

Running unopposed in the Democratic primary was Cyndi Pauwels, who received 6,158 votes nonetheless.

A writer and teacher, Pauwels has experience as a police and fire dispatcher, deputy clerk at the municipal and federal court level in Toledo and as a liaison between schools, social service agencies, law enforcement and the Lucas County Juvenile Court.

Both Williams and Pauwels have expressed a desire to make the public’s encounters with the courts system as sympathetic and easy to navigate as possible.


Issue 1 wins big

The congressional redistricting reform measure, Issue 1, passed by a 3–1 margin in both the state and in the county. It passed with a whopping 91 percent yes vote in Yellow Springs/Miami Township. A bipartisan, public process will now be used to redraw districts for Congress, a process that begins in 2021. Over 1.5 million voters weighed in on the measure.

Ohio House — 73rd district

In the 73rd Ohio House district, consisting of western Greene County, incumbent State Rep. Rick Perales handily staved off a challenge from Jocelyn Smith for the Republican nomination, garnering 80 percent of the approximately 10,000 votes cast. In Yellow Springs/Miami Township, Perales received 72 percent of the vote. He will face Kim McCarthy of Xenia, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, in the general election.

Governor of Ohio

Competing to succeed Republican John Kasich as Ohio’s next governor will be the Governor/Lt. Governor ticket of Mike DeWine and Jon Hustead on the Republican side and Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton on the Democratic side. With some 827,000 votes cast, DeWine/Hustead clinched the nomination with 60 percent of the vote, edging out former Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, who was attempting to become the first woman ever elected to Ohio’s highest statewide office, and her running mate, Nathan Estruth.

DeWine, who grew up in Yellow Springs, won the village and township by an even larger margin, 81 percent of the vote, and took his home county with 71 percent of the vote. 

Cordray/Sutton won the Democratic primary with 62 percent of the vote (of nearly 680,000 votes cast), with Dennis Kucinich and Tara Samples placing second and garnering 22 percent, both statewide and in Yellow Springs/Miami Township. Locally, Cordray’s margin of victory was even wider, at 72 percent of the vote.

The Green Party candidates for governor, Constance Gadell-Newton and Brett Joseph, ran unopposed.  


U.S. Congress — 10th district 

In the race to represent Ohio’s 10th district in the U.S. Congress, incumbent Mike Turner of Dayton held the Republican nomination, winning 80 percent of the vote in the district, which also includes Montgomery and Fayette counties, with nearly 54,000 votes cast. He won 75 percent of the vote in Yellow Springs/Miami Township and 77 percent of the vote in Greene County.

Turner will face Democrat Theresa Gasper, who won 67 percent of the vote in the district (34,000 votes cast), 78 percent of the Yellow Springs/Miami Township vote and 70 percent of the county vote.

U.S. Senate

Republican Jim Renacci will challenge current U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, for his seat. Renacci won the nomination with 47 percent of some 760,000 votes statewide, the same percentage as in Yellow Springs/Miami Township. Brown was unopposed.

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