Republicans win state rep, judicial races in GOP primary

And voters in the Lebanon school district approved a levy renewal that provides $3 million a year for operating expenses.

Former Franklin City Councilman Scott Lipps will face Samuel Ronan in the November general election after a narrow victory in a three-way GOP primary race for the 62nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

But with no challengers in the November election, Tim Tepe and Jeff Kirby should win election as judges in Warren County Common Pleas Court without further opposition.

“So many family and friends have helped me in this,” Tepe said about the win by almost 12 percent in his first election.

Lipps, a small businessman who also served as Franklin’s mayor, and Clearcreek Trustee Steve Muterspaw traded the lead Tuesday night. Lipps ultimately won by about 1.5 percent, according to unofficial totals. Running last was county GOP chief Ray Warrick.

Lipps was backed by established party leaders including Ron Maag, the man he would be replacing, but Muterspaw had the backing of leaders from the party’s Right to Life branch.

Lipps is to face Democrat Ronan in November. The winner will represent Franklin, Springboro, Carlisle, Waynesvile, Maineville and Morrow in the Statehouse.

Maag was term-limited and is expected to be appointed to the Ohio Senate seat held by Shannon Jones. Jones was unopposed Tuesday for one of two seats on the Warren County Board of Commissioners. She is next expected to seek the U.S. Congress seat held by Steve Chabot.

In a three-way race with Mike Gilb and Andy Sievers, Tepe won the seat Gilb had held since last summer on the local common pleas bench, general division.

Gilb was appointed to the seat last year by Gov. John Kasich, but Gilb was unable overcome a lack of name recognition, despite a door-to-door campaign begun after his appointment.

Two Springboro lawyers, Lauren Clouse and Jeff Kirby, ran a close race for the domestic relations seat on the common pleas bench. Kirby, assistant to Tim Oliver, the long-time judge, beat Clouse, a candidate supported by the party’s Right to Life branch, by about 9 percent and 3,000 votes.

County Recorder Linda Oda again soundly defeated Donna Lynch, who also contested Oda’s re-election as Clearcreek Twp. fiscal officer last year. Oda will face opposition in November from Mike Kassalen, a Democrat, who ran as a write-in in the primary.

More than 60 percent of voters in the Lebanon school district approved a five-year, 3.5 mill property tax renewal. Despite opposition, voters approved the issue for the first time on the first try. The current levy expires at the end of 2016.

Also in November, former