Springboro mayor among candidates lining up for Warren County elections

Prospective candidates are circulating petitions in races for councils, mayors, school boards and more in Warren County for the November election.

The filing deadline to get on the Nov. 5 ballot is Aug. 7, except in communities such as Franklin and Waynesville, where local charters give candidates longer — until Aug. 22 this year.

Those who have at least pulled petitions range from veterans with decades of campaign experience to newcomers contemplating a run for public office for the first time.

In Warren County, Springboro Mayor John Agenbroad said he was seeking re-election for the seventh time.

“It’s already signed. I’m ready to turn it in,” Agenbroad said last week.

Agenbroad was among the earliest, pulling his petitions on Jan. 24, according to election board records. He said he gets them signed early in the election season, regardless of whether he expects a challenge in November.

Although only required to have 50 certified signatures, the mayor said he had 88 people already sign his petitions. He said he gathers them as he moves around the city, sometimes encountering new people to sign in favor of his nomination.

“It opens a door,” said Agenbroad on council 24 years, mayor for 22. “It’s been successful for me.”

The Warren County Board of Elections isn’t expected to certify the results of the May election until Wednesday.

Already 60 people have pulled petitions for a place on the Nov. 5 ballot, according to the board of elections on-line records.

Getting going early also gives candidates more time to make sure they don’t run afoul of regulations that have delayed, interrupted or ended political careers.

RELATED: Petition flaws foil re-election bids for Warren County incumbents

Former Lebanon Councilman Stephen Kaiser pulled his petitions on April 25.

In November 2017, Kaiser’s name wasn’t on the ballot for re-election to the city council because he failed to sign one of four petitions he returned to the board.

“I thought I checked them all,” said Kaiser at the time. “I guess I just wait two years.”

Kaiser was seeking a second term. At the same time, Lebanon Councilman Jim Norris and Kings Local School Board member Bonnie Baker-Hicks each had 16 years in office when their petitions were rejected by the election board for “fatal flaws.”

In all, 15 candidates’ petitions came up short under that election board’s scrutiny.

“You’ve got to give it a second or third look. It’s so easy to make a mistake,” Agenbroad said.

Another prospective candidate, Adam Matthews, pulled his petitions for the Lebanon Council race on March 29.

MORE: Unopposed Springboro mayor spent funds on party, pamphlet

A new candidate for Lebanon school board, Eric Hatchett, said he relying on instructions outlining the steps to take to ensure petitions pass scrutiny by the board of elections after the deadline. There are no do-overs.

After years working on PTO and helping at school, Hatchett said he was contemplating a run to “be a part of the solution.”

Joseph Shafer is a first-time candidate for the Lebanon City Council. He pulled his petitions Monday and has been gathering signatures as he moves around the community with his lawn-care business.

“I’m listening to people all the time,” he said.

Incumbent Mark Messer pulled his petitions Wednesday in anticipation of running for re-election to Lebanon City Council. Adam Matthews is another candidate.

On Friday, Waynesville resident Michael Logan said he was still contemplating whether to run for the village council. He pulled his petitions on April 15.

“I’ve giving it some thought. I haven’t completely made up my mind,” he said.

MORE: 80 candidates, 14 issues on Warren County fall ballots

Logan served on a sewer district board while living in Miami Twp., Montgomery County, and currently sits on the Waynesville Planning Commission.

Logan said he already attends meetings.

Last year, Logan said he helped convince the council to change the local code on parking regulations for recreational vehicles and trailers in driveways.

Still, he was unsure if he would run.

“If I do it, I want to make sure I can serve the community in the appropriate fashion,” he said.

Mason Municipal Judge Andrew Batsche is on the fall ballot, although he returned his petitions on Jan. 29 and any partisan challenge would have had to come in May.

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With no one else on the ballot and no challenger filed in May, Batsche’s name will appear on Nov. 7 ballots in Mason and Deerfield Twp. Last week, Batsche said a write-in opponent was the only possibility.

It would be his third six-year term.

With one term in between, he followed his father, David Batsche, on the judicial bench in Mason.

On Friday, only two candidates had pulled petitions for Springboro City Council: incumbents Steven Harding and Becky Iverson.

So far, Harding, Iverson and Agenbroad aren’t facing challenges, but candidates have almost three months to file.

“You just never know,” Agenbroad said. “If there’s a hot issue, that will get people out to run.”

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