Republicans hear from election board candidates

Three of the four candidates for a position at the Board of Elections spoke at the Seneca County Republican monthly dinner at Carmie’s Bar and Grill, Monday night.

Chairman of the Seneca County Republican Party David Koehl, former county commissioner Mike Bridinger, former director of the Board of Elections Janet Leahy and Henry Karcher are the four candidates for the position to be vacated by Cora Bour when she retires Friday.

Leahy, who retired as Board of Elections director in December, said she is a good candidate for the position because she has 24 years at the board.

“I love staying in contact with the people, and I think I have what it takes to be a board member,” she said.

Bridinger said he also hopes to be appointed to the board and he said, “I promise to you, first and foremost, to be open and transparent.”

Koehl said he is dedicated to keeping elections fair and honest, and has worked on elections for 40 years.

“I think I know the election system inside and out,” he said.

The Republican Party Executive Committee is to vote for the candidate to recommend at its next meeting April 3 at 7 p.m. at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.

The committee is to give its recommendation to Secretary of State Jon Husted, who then will make the final appointment.

Also during the meeting, Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry spoke about the status of the sheriff’s office.

“I think Seneca County is a great, safe place to live,” he said. “I can’t think of any other place I’d want to live.”

The office handled 6,500 calls for service in 2012, and he said the office’s revenue for 2012 was about $1.3 million from a housing immigration program.

“It’s been a very good program,” Eckelberry said about the ICE program, which is paid by the federal government.

Eckelberry also spoke about the Community Corrections Grant, which allows judges to give “good time” credit for inmates who do community work.