Many Nov. 7 local candidates will be elected if they get single vote

More than a hundred local elected races are uncontested - meaning no competition among candidates.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Tuesday’s election includes many fierce candidate battles for mayor, city council, township trustee and school board, among others. But more than a hundred other candidates in the region will essentially be elected as soon as they receive one vote.

Either they have no opponent on the ballot at all, or they are running in a race that, for example, has three candidates running for three seats. In a few cases, candidates won a partisan primary in the spring and have no opposition from the other party in November.

Writ large, fewer candidates to choose from at the ballot box can mean voters have less ability to hold those in power accountable, experts say, and at worst can discourage people from exercising their right to vote.

Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner, a former city council member, state representative and state senator, has run both contested races and unopposed races in her time. She’s not on the ballot this year, but only two of Kettering’s four city council wards have competition this year.

“I don’t remember having this many open seats, frankly,” she said.

The races for mayor of Centerville, Brookville and Springboro are uncontested Tuesday. The city council candidates in Miamisburg, Englewood and Oakwood are certain to be elected without opposition, as are the school board candidates in Vandalia-Butler, Mad River and Franklin.

Research by voter engagement platform BallotReady found that 67% of races nationwide went uncontested in 2022, a number that increased the more local the election was. While only 3% of federal-level races were uncontested, as many as 70% of city-level races did not have opposition, the organization found.

According to BallotReady’s report, more than half of Ohio’s elected positions went uncontested in November 2022. Almost every state in the country saw a majority of positions that appeared on the ballot go uncontested in 2022, and only five states were below 40%.

However, the problem isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon, said Daniel Birdsong, senior lecturer of political science at the University of Dayton, as there’s not as much attention given to local elections.

“We tend to not give them as much significance as voters,” Birdsong said. “And so that, I think, spills over to candidates not looking at these races as being important, even though they are very, very important for the governing of our state and region.”

The effect of uncontested elections is understudied, said Lee Hannah, professor of political science at Wright State. But there is evidence that uncontested elections lead to less accountability and poorer performance from lawmakers. A 2011 study in “Legislative Studies Quarterly” found that state legislators who ran in uncontested elections were more likely to miss roll-call votes and introduced fewer bills than candidates running in contested elections.

At worst, a lack of options and qualified candidates can be demoralizing for voters.

“Over time, I think uncontested elections could lead to lower voter turnout and less engagement in general. And if elected leaders don’t really feel accountable, they could be more likely to shirk on their duties,” Hannah said.

Reasons many people don’t run include the current divisive political climate, Hannah said, or a lack of involvement or engagement in local issues. A 2019 Bloomberg study found that the decline of local newspapers and information on local issues translated almost directly to less civic engagement among citizens.

Another reason is simply people don’t have the time or resources to campaign for office, especially if a newcomer is facing an uphill battle against a longtime incumbent. Lack of contested elections could signify that running against them is not only hopeless, but costly, Hannah said.

“If you’re going to run, you have to be interested enough. You have to have the time. You have to have the money. You have to have the support,” Birdsong said. “You have to build a lot of that, and if you don’t see it around you, or at least that infrastructure around you, then you’re disincentivized to run.”

The solution? Get more people to seek elected office. A silver lining to the lack of competition could mean newcomers to the political process have a unique opportunity to get involved, according to BallotReady.

Another solution is elected leaders themselves modernizing and making transparent a sometimes opaque civic process, Lehner said, adding the way most candidates campaign for office “leaves people pretty uninformed.”

“You’ll have candidates’ nights where five candidates and four staffers show up, and they’re given three minutes to tell you what they believe in, who they are and where they come from,” Lehner said. “That doesn’t really give people much of an opportunity to see what this person’s credentials are.”

Regardless, much of the significant work that governs the lives of Americans is happening at the state and local level, Birdsong said.

“My day-to-day life is heavily impacted by whether or not we have passable roads, we have order around our neighborhood, little things like that, but we don’t usually ascribe great significance to those things. We kind of take them for granted,” he said.

See below for a list of those nearly “automatically elected” candidates, from local county board of election documents.


Dayton Municipal Court Judges — Frank Gehres, Christopher Roberts, Deirdre Logan

Kettering Muncipal Court Judge — Jim Long

Miamisburg Municipal Court Judge — Alyse Rettich

Brookville Mayor — Chuck Letner

Centerville Mayor — Brooks Compton

Clayton City Council — Kenneth Henning (Ward 2), James Gorman (Ward 3)

Englewood City Council — Brad Daugherty, Steve Henne, Fred Huelsman

Germantown City Council — Bonnie Gunckel Koogle, Jeffrey Jones, Rick Reed

Huber Heights City Council — Scott Davidson (Ward 1), Don Webb (Ward 2)

Kettering City Council — Bob Scott (Ward 2), Shane Sullivan (Ward 3)

Miamisburg City Council — Steven Beachler, Ryan Colvin, Jeff Nestor

Moraine City Council — Randy Daugherty (Ward 1), David Miller (Ward 2), Shirley Whitt (Ward 3), Jeanette Marcus (Ward 4)

Oakwood City Council — Steven Byington, William Duncan, Healy Jackson

Riverside Mayor — Pete Williams

Riverside City Council — Andy Brown, Jesse Maxfield

Union Mayor — Mike O’Callaghan

Union City Council — Robert Bennett, John Bruns, Lynne Thomas-Roth

Vandaila Mayor — Richard Herbst

West Carrollton Mayor — Richard Barnhart

West Carrollton City Council — Angie Fryman, Jill Tomlin

Phillipsburg Village Council — Heather Craft, Hope Hoard

Butler Township Trustee — Missy Pruszynski

Butler Township Fiscal Officer — Greg Brush

Clay Township Trustee (unexpired term) — Duane Heuker

Clay Township Fiscal Officer — Mark Brownfield

German Township Trustee — Lou Potter Jr.

German Township Fiscal Officer — Mark Heistand

Harrison Township Trustee — Danielle Bradley

Harrison Township Fiscal Officer — Craig Jones

Jackson Township Trustee — Michael Moyer

Jackson Township Fiscal Officer — Elizabeth Kozarec

Perry Township Fiscal Officer — Charity Grill

Washington Township Fiscal Officer — Gary Smiga

Jefferson Twp. School Board (unexpired term) — Michelle Cooper

Mad River School Board — Julie Denning, Ruth Newhouse

Montgomery County ESC Board — Daryl Michael (unexpired term), Cinda Shell, Tomas Steck

Vandalia-Butler School Board — Mary Kilsheimer, Rodney Washburn

West Carrollton School Board — Lori Gibson, Keith Novesl


Fairborn Municipal Court Judge — Andrew Hunt

Xenia Municipal Court Judge — David McNamee

Bellbrook City Council — Logan Ashley, Ernie Havens, T.J. Hoke

Bellbrook Mayor — Michael Schweller

Bowersville Village Council — Michael Work (Only 1 valid candidate for 6 seats)

Cedarville Mayor — John Cody Jr.

Cedarville Village Council — James Combs II, David Brooks (only 2 valid candidates for 3 seats)

Clifton Mayor — Stephen McFarland

Clifton Village Council — Paula Lazorski (Only 1 valid candidate for 4 seats)

Clifton Village Clerk/Treasurer — Sue Chasnov

Jamestown Mayor — Joshua Bradley

Jamestown Village Council — Jonathan Smith (Only 1 valid candidate for 2 seats)

Spring Valley Mayor — Sue McLaughlin

Spring Valley Village Council — Lori Carrol, Austin Miller (Only 2 valid candidate for 3 seats)

Bath Township Fiscal Officer — Linda Keller

Beavercreek Township Trustee — Jessica Dean

Beavercreek Township Fiscal Officer — Alex Zaharieff

Caesarscreek Township Trustee — Keith Beam

Caesarscreek Township Fiscal Officer — James Randall

Cedarville Township Trustee — Jeff Ewry

Cedarville Township Fiscal Officer — Jennifer Orr

Jefferson Township Fiscal Officer — Linda Fliehman

Miami Township Trustee — Chris Mucher

New Jasper Township Fiscal Officer — Melissa Dodd

Ross Township Fiscal Officer — Gary Bogan

Silvercreek Township Trustee — Bob Frost

Silvercreek Township Fiscal Officer — Melissa Smith

Sugarcreek Township Trustee — Richard Demko

Sugarcreek Township Fiscal Officer — Carolyn Destefani

Xenia Township Trustee — L. Stephen Combs

Xenia Township Fiscal Officer — Jacqueline Robinson

Greene County ESC Board — Erik Eppers, Judy Lowstetter, Patricia Phipps

Greeneview School Board — Suzanne Arthur, Chris Bailey


Miami County Municipal Court Judge — Samuel Huffman

Troy Mayor — Robin Oda

Troy Council President — William Rozell

Troy Council At-Large — Todd Severt, Lynne Snee, Susan Westfall

Troy Council Wards — Jeffrey Whidden (Ward 1), Kristie Marshall (Ward 2), Samuel Pierce (Ward 3), Bobby Phillips (Ward 4), William Twiss (Ward 5), Jeffrey Schilling (Ward 6)

Troy City Auditor — John Frigge

Troy City Law Director — Grant Kerber

Piqua City Commission Ward 2 — Paul Simmons

Bradford Mayor — Don Stump

Bradford Village Council — Galen Balmert, Robert Daugherty

Covington Mayor — Lee Harmon

Covington Village Council — Jesse Reynolds (Only 1 valid candidate for 2 seats)

Fletcher Mayor — Jason Hutson

Fletcher Village Council — Debbie Sandlin (Only 1 valid candidate for 2 seats)

Pleasant Hill Mayor — Brenda Carroll

Pleasant Hill Council — Matt Gray, Teri Stivers

West Milton Mayor — Scott Hurst

West Milton Vice Mayor — Christopher Horn

West Milton Village Council — Robert Cox, Sarah Gregory (Only 2 valid candidates for 3 seats)

West Milton Village Council (unexpired term) — Donald Dohrman

Brown Township Trustee — John Beal

Brown Township Fiscal Officer — Rebecca Elifritz

Elizabeth Township Trustee — John Ryman (write-in)

Elizabeth Township Fiscal Officer — Mary Ann Mumford

Lostcreek Township Trustee — Darrell Davis

Lostcreek Township Fiscal Officer — Walter Pemberton

Monroe Township Trustee — Michael Flora (unexpired term), Gregory Siefring

Monroe Township Fiscal Officer — L. Anthony Becker

Newton Township Trustee — Gene Laughman

Newton Township Fiscal Officer — Stanley Fessler

Newberry Township Trustee — J. Jason Sargent

Newberry Township Fiscal Officer — Mary Beth Benedict

Springcreek Township Fiscal Officer — Lori Wirt

Staunton Township Trustee — Jeff Cron

Staunton Township Fiscal Officer — Sarah Fine

Union Township Trustee — Phil Mote

Union Township Fiscal Officer — Marjorie Coate

Washington Township Trustee — Thomas Lange

Washington Township Fiscal Officer — Mikel Rike Brown

Miami County ESC Board — Janel Hodges, Myrna Yoder

Bradford School Board — Holly Hill (unexpired term), Maria Brewer, Scott Swabb

Covington School Board — Michael Maniaci Jr., Kerry Murphy

Milton-Union School Board — Jessica Brumbaugh, Justin Cress (Only 2 valid candidates for 3 seats)

Newton School Board — Bridget Haines, Nathan Oburn


Carlisle City Council — Deborah Kemper, Christopher Stivers

Franklin City Council — Brent Centers, Deborah Fouts, William Hall, Paul Ruppert

Springboro Mayor — John Agenbroad

Springboro City Council — Stephen Harding, Rebecca Iverson

Corwin Mayor — Jess Cordery III

Corwin Village Council — Debra Femmer (Only 1 valid candidate for 2 seats)

Waynesville Mayor — Earl Isaacs

Waynesville Village Council — Zachary Gallagher, Connie Miller

Clearcreek Township Trustee — Jason Gabbard

Clearcreek Township Fiscal Officer — Russell Carolus Jr.

Franklin Township Fiscal Officer — Scot Fromeyer

Massie Township Fiscal Officer — Mary Anna Wilkie

Turtlecreek Township Fiscal Officer — Amanda Childers

Wayne Township Fiscal Officer — Scott Fitzsimmons

Carlisle School Board — Missie Miller, Kelly Milligan

Franklin School Board — Andrew Fleming, Lori Raleigh

Springboro School Board — Lisa Babb, Sarah Schleehauf

Warren County ESC Board — Chad Bridgman, Sally Williams

Franklin Municipal Court Judge — Ron Ruppert



The following races have no valid candidates at all, according to county board of elections documents.

Procedures for filling these positions can vary by office, but in most cases, someone will be appointed.

Also, see above in the “uncontested races” section, there are some races that had, for example, only two valid candidate for four seats, meaning appointments to the excess vacancies are also likely there.


Farmersville Mayor (1 seat)

Farmersville Village Council (2 seats)

Phillipsburg Board of Public Affairs (2 seats)


Bowersville Mayor (1)

Spring Valley Village Clerk (1)


Casstown Mayor (1)

Casstown Village Council (3)

Laura Mayor (1)

Laura Village Council (2)

Laura Village Board of Public Affairs (2)

Ludlow Falls Mayor (1)

Ludlow Falls Village Council (4)

Ludlow Falls Clerk/Treasurer (1)

Pleasant Hill Board of Public Affairs (2)

Potsdam Mayor (1)

Potsdam Village Council (2)


Corwin Village Clerk-Treasurer (1)