As the primary election approaches, several candidates have joined the race for Seneca County commissioner.
Michael J. Kerschner has announced his candidacy for the position and said he is running to help secure the future of Seneca County for all those who live and work here.
Kerschner said his background in banking, business and economic development gives him a unique perspective on the direction Seneca County should take to build a stronger economy.
He retired as CEO of Old Fort Banking Co. in 2007 after 23 years in the position. He also has served as chairman of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services and as chairman of Seneca Industrial Economic Development Corp. twice.
He also served as chairman of the United Way campaign and is an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church.
He also has served as trustee for Heidelberg University and on the board of St. Francis Home.
"As county commissioner, my focus will be on putting the right policies in place to help Seneca County grow and thrive through economic development and a better business climate," Kerschner stated in a press release. "We have a county full of outstanding people with an unmatched work ethic and I'd like to help translate that into a stronger, more prosperous future for our communities."
Shayne Thomas also has taken out a petition to run for county commissioner.
"I do this in the noble tradition we have in Seneca County where professionals take time from their careers to give back to the community," he said.
Thomas has a background in finance and banking, along with spending time promoting business growth. He said he would bring an understanding of natural gas hedging, electricity procurement and deregulation and road and rail infrastructure.
"All are key elements to understand for economic development activity," he said. "The county is also a consumer of these commodities and services, so my experience will ensure that the best value is received for our contracts."
He said he also has experience in negotiating high-stakes contracts and loans, along with having experience in strategic planning and branding.
Thomas also served on the boards of SIEDC and Fostoria Economic Development Corp. and worked with The Ritz Theatre board, Tiffin Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Kiwanis and Leadership Seneca County.
Individuals who also have taken out petitions but have not officially announced their candidacies are Philip Frankart, Nathan Mowery and Kevin Somers.