Contested races and issues decided


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Although contested races were at a minimum throughout the county, voters in Darke County had a lot of decisions to make as they went to the polls during the 2023 General Election season. Voting began in October and culminated with the polling locations being open on Nov. 7. A little over half of the county’s voter cast a ballot during the time period. Only 18,080 of the 34,260 registered voters (52.74 percent) voted.

The following is the breakdown of voting for issues and contested races. The results are unofficial.

One of the most highly publicized local issues was the renewal levy for the Darke County Parks. Supporters of the parks wrote letters to the editor, erected billboards and tried to share why they believe the support of the Darke County Parks is necessary. A renewal levy does not raise taxes on property owners as the taxes are based on the valuation of the property when the original or replacement levy was passed. Sixty percent of voters approved the levy.

Two issues were decided by voters throughout the state. State Issues 1 and 2 had residents on both sides of the issues passionate in their support or opposition. State Issue 1 lifted restrictions on abortion. State Issue 2 was intended to make marijuana legal to use recreationally.

State Issue 1 did not get the approval of voters in Darke County. Approximately 73 percent voted against the issue. Throughout the state, the issue passed with nearly 57 percent of the vote.

The same was true for State Issue 2. That issue did not resonate with voters in Darke County with approximately 63 percent voting against. Voters throughout the state, however, said cannabis should be regulated, legalized, taxed and made available to adults. This clears the way for the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, with 57 percent of voters supporting the issue.

There were several contested races for mayor, council, school board members and trustees throughout the county.

Ansonia residents chose Theodore Adkins as their mayor. Adkins received 163 votes total Nathan Stafford’s 104 votes.

In Arcanum, Bonnie Millard and Joe LeMaster faced off for the mayor’s position. Millard earned the seat with 514 votes to 330.

Arcanum also had a contested race for village council. Tammy Bruner, Rick Genovesi and Chloe Price were seeking the two available seats. Bruner and Genovesi were the two top vote getters for the two seats available. Bruner received 529 votes with Genovesi getting 400. Price had 342 votes..

Randy Clark and William Collins went head-to-head in the race for mayor Castine. Clark came out on top with 29 votes to Collins’ 14.

In Union City, Duane Pouder and Chiane Tedrow faced off to be mayor of that village. Pouder earned the seat with 120 votes to 108.

Versailles Village Council had three candidates for two positions. Two of the candidates were write-in votes. Karla Dieringer was the only candidate that was not a write-in candidate with Alma Broerman and Erin Shaffer hoping to get voters to go the extra step and write-in their names. Dieringer was the top vote getter with 904 votes. Shaffer was the top write-in candidate with 124 votes.

Adams Township voters had a choice between Dave W. Brewer and John Petitjean for trustee. The winner is Brewer with 642 votes to 251.

Mauri L. Miles and Seth Monnin gave voters a choice in Greenville Township. With only one seat available, the winner is Monnin who received 2,555 votes to MIles’ 1,870 votes.

The fiscal officer’s position was up for grabs in Jackson Township. Heather Cox and Jessica L. Gower were vying for the seat. Gower won the seat with 334 votes to 227.

In Neave Township, Zebulon G. Kirby and Jason Rice put their names on the ballot for the one trustee seat that was available. Rice came out on top with nearly 77 percent of the vote (518 to 158).

Alex Davis and Mark B. Rismiller were seeking the trustee’s position in Wabash Township. Davis took the seat with 276 votes to 186.

In Washington Township, Mark A. Cox and Heinrick Post were seeking the trustee’s position. Cox won with 261 votes to 88.

Three candidates were vying for the two seats open on the Greenville City Schools Board of Education. Jim Sommer, Kristi Strawser and Thomas E. Warner were on the ballot. Strawser and Warner knocked out the incumbent board member, Sommer. Strawser finished with 4,083 votes to Warner’s 3,810 votes and Sommer’s 2,410 votes.

The Franklin Monroe Board of Education had three seats open with four candidates. Rodney Baker, Rick Filbrun, Jason D. Baker and Rachel Heck sought the seats. The three winners are Rodney Baker, Filbrun and Jason Baker. Rodney topped all vote getters with 754 votes. Filbrun had 676 votes and Jason had 613 votes. Heck finished out of the top three with 520 votes. Jana Baker was the only candidate that filed to fill the unexpired term.

The Versailles Exempted Village School District Board of Education had three candidates for two seats. Jacob Broering, Gregory A. Luthman and Christine Prakel were vying for the seats. Prakel came out on top with 1,897 votes. Broering also earned a seat with 1,498 votes. Finishing in third was Luthman with 1,332 votes.

Washington Township’s 1 mill, five-year property tax renewal levy for current expenses showed that every vote counts. The renewal passed by 5 votes – 201 to 196 votes.

Greenville City School District’s 2 mills property tax renewal levy for permanent improvements passed with 3,779 voting for and 3,166 voting against.

The electric aggregation issue for unincorporated areas of the county, with the exception of Adams, Brown and Greenville Township, failed with 3,736 voting against and 2,663 voting for. Electric decided they are better off on their own than as a group get the best price for electricity.

Ansonia’s 2.6 mills, five years, property tax renewal levy for current expenses passed by a 179 to 95 vote.

Arcanum had two property tax levy replacements on the ballot. The 0.5 mill, five-year levy for current expenses failed by five votes – 432 against and 427 for. The 1.6 mills, five-year levy for current expenses failed by a wider margin with 479 voters saying no and 368 for the levy. If the levies had been approved, property owners would have had their taxes based off the current property valuation.

The Village of Castine had two property tax renewal levies on the ballot. The 1 mill, continuing period of time levy for fire protection passed with 34 voting for and 10 voting against. The 2 mills, five-year levy for current expenses passed with 29 voting in favor and 12 voting against.

Pitsburg’s 2 mills, five-year, property tax renewal levy for current expenses once again showed that every vote counts. The levy tied with 81 voting for and against.

Union City put an additional levy on the ballot. They were seeking a 9 mill, continuing period of time, levy for fire protection and emergency medical services. The levy failed with 121 voting against and 108 voting for.

Wayne Lakes sought a 7 mills, five-year, property tax renewal levy for current expenses. The levy passed by four votes with 134 voting for and 130 voting against.

Several communities sought local options to allow for Sunday sales or the sale of wine and mixed beverages. All four local option issues passed.

Voters in Greenville City 4-A were asked to decide whether FOE Aerie 2177 Greenville would be allowed to sell wine, mixed beverages and spiritous liquor on Sunday. The issue passed with 153 voting for and 49 voting against.

Harrison East and New Madison decided the local option for Sunday sales of beer, wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor for Schlechty’s Sports Bar & Grill. Voters said yes to the issue. Voters agreed to the local option by 73 percent with 369 voting in favor and 135 against.

Monroe Township and Pitsburg decided two local option issues for the proposed Tin Roof Tavern, 127 N. Jefferson St. On the issue of the sale of wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor the issue passed with 561 votes in favor and 127 against. On the issue of Sunday sales of wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor voters again said yes with 515 voting for the option and 173 voting against.

The Daily Advocate/Early Bird lets You Decide. We do not endorse candidates or issues but provide a forum for candidates to share their information. Information is shared across our media platforms including The Daily Advocate, The Early Bird, and social media through local candidate and issue announcements, letters to the editor and video debates/forums. For more information, email Editor Ryan Berry at [email protected].

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