By CARL E. FEATHER - firstname.lastname@example.org
Incumbent County Commissioner Peggy Carlo will square off against Ryan Bailey in the November General Election.
Democratic voters on Tuesday threw their support behind Carlo as their candidate for commissioner. The unofficial vote was 4,258 for Carlo and 1,534 for Jacob Chicatelli, the former Conneaut councilman who made a run for the commissioner’s seat.
Carlo, a former Saybrook Township trustee, is wrapping up her first term on the board. They were challenging years as both local and state revenues dropped by millions of dollars, forcing commissioners to downsize county government, which resulted in legal challenges from two elected officials.
“I’m pleased the voters spoke,” Carlo said Tuesday night. “Now we will have to get ready for the General Election.”
Chicatelli said that his run against Carlo was not an attempt to unseat an incumbent from his own party, but to change the makeup of the board in general. He said the board has perpetuated the failed policies of the past rather than take the county in a new direction.
That same mantra has been taken up by Republican Ryan Bailey, 25, of Jefferson Township, who is seeking Carlo’s seat.
Bailey criticized the board’s handling of the budget cuts and the attempt of the two Democratic commissioners’ effort to implement an emergency sales tax issue. He said the lawsuits that resulted from the budget cuts were “an enormous waste of money.”
Bailey was challenged by Brommer on Tuesday’s Republican ballot. Brommer, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent County Auditor Roger Corlett in 2010, received 2,096 votes. Bailey, who unsuccessfully challenged Casey Kozlowski for the state representative race in 2010, received 5,271 votes, or 71 percent of the total cast.
Bailey, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, is on active duty in Georgia, where he received the news of his win.
“I feel really, really honored that the voters have selected me, and I’ll do everything I can not to let them down,” Bailey said in a telephone interview from a victory celebration with friends in Georgia.
Bailey has been on active duty since January, so it was up to his supporters in Ohio to lead him to victory.
“Honestly, I credit this win to all my volunteers, campaign staff and the voters,” he said.
Bailey plans to transfer the National Guard when his current active duty obligation is completed. He said he will begin campaigning for the November Election at that time.
Steve Graham, the Republican candidate for the other commissioner’s seat that is up for grabs in November, ran unopposed. A Jefferson resident, Graham is seeking the seat held by Dan Claypool. Graham ran unopposed on the Republican ballot.
The other county primary race decided by Tuesday’s voting was for the office of recorder. Corrie Leehan faced James Nizen on the Republican ballot.
Unofficial results show Leehan as the winner with 4,410 votes to Nizen’s 3,264 votes. Leehan will now face off Barbara Schaab of Austinburg, the Democratic candidate.