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School board, mayor races highlight November election in Montgomery County

In an odd-year election, voters decide on local races such as city councils, school boards and township trustees. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
In an odd-year election, voters decide on local races such as city councils, school boards and township trustees. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

November’s election will include contested races for school board in Dayton, Centerville and Huber Heights, competition for mayor in Trotwood, Brookville and Englewood, plus a host of city council and township races.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections certified candidates to the ballot this week in most jurisdictions. Candidates for some city offices in Kettering, Moraine, Riverside and New Lebanon still have until Thursday to file petitions.

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A few Board of Elections decisions have resulted in controversy. David Young, who filed to run for a Trotwood city council seat, had his candidacy rejected by the BOE this week. Young, who had served as the clerk to Trotwood’s council, has filed an objection, which will be heard by the board this week.

There’s a similar situation in Harrison Twp., where Craig Anderson filed to run for trustee against incumbent Ron Casey. His candidacy was also rejected by the board, and he has also filed an objection.

In both cases, if the objections are denied, the incumbents would be left unopposed on the ballot, meaning they’d be automatically re-elected barring a massive write-in vote campaign.

Roughly half of mayor, city council, school board and municipal court judge election races in Montgomery County will be uncontested in November, because the number of candidates who sought the office was equal to the number of seats open.

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Three communities are actually seeking write-in candidates in the next week to run for office, because not enough people sought the positions. Those are Jefferson Twp. school board, West Carrollton school board, and two Phillipsburg bodies – the village council and the board of public affairs.

But elsewhere in Montgomery County, the competition to be elected is hot. About three-fourths of township trustee and township fiscal officer races have competition. And in the Valley View school district, seven residents have been certified to run for only two board of education seats.

Lone Valley View incumbent Tom Geglein will be challenged by Katrina Williams, Spencer Izor, Mike Jones, Mike Kilroy, Ben DeGroat and Tim Hewitt. In recent years, Valley View voters have rejected levies for new school buildings as well as regular school operating funds.

The Northridge school district also has a crowded ballot, with six candidates for three seats. Incumbents Tina Fiore, Margie Lairson and Glenn Jones are being challenged by James Dillon, Jacinda Fugate and Angela Glassburn.

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In the span of three months, Northridge has seen widespread tornado devastation, the arrest of the high school principal, and the finishing touches going on a new K-12 school complex to open in September.

In Dayton Public Schools, five candidates are running for the three slots left open when incumbents decided not to run again. The five are Will Smith, Gabriela Pickett, Dion Sampson, Jamie Rippey and Joe Lacey.

In Centerville, school board president Annie Self is not running for re-election, leaving three candidates for two spots – longtime incumbent Jeff Shroyer and challengers Allison Durnbaugh and Clara Osterhage.

In Huber Heights, where the school board recently hired a new superintendent, new athletic director and new coach of the powerhouse football team, incumbents Tony Cochren and Michael Miller are being challenged by Robert Mullins and Shannon Weldon.

Other districts with contested school board races include Miamisburg, Vandalia-Butler, Mad River and the Montgomery County Educational Service Center.

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Among mayors, Brookville mayor Chuck Letner faces a challenge from Don Shaffer, and Trotwood mayor Mary McDonald will be tested by Yvette Page. Englewood will choose a new mayor from contenders Thomas Franz and Mike Klingler, as incumbent Patricia Burnside is not running for re-election.

Miamisburg and Vandalia will also get new mayors, and both elections are a formality. In Miamisburg, councilwoman Michelle Collins was the only candidate who sought to replace longtime mayor Dick Church, who is retiring. In Vandalia, only vice mayor Richard Herbst sought to replace the retiring Arlene Setzer.

The incumbent municipal court judges in Kettering, Oakwood and Vandalia are all running unopposed, but the Montgomery County Municipal Court judges will face challengers. Incumbent James Hensley is running against William Cox, and incumbent James Piergies will face Tamela Womack.