Voters See Light Ballot

ST. MARYS —  Voters approved a local restaurant’s request for Sunday sales during Tuesday’s primary election.

Buffalo Wild Wings saw its request approved by voters in precinct 1A by a count of 137 (79.65 percent) to 35 (20.35 percent) with seven under votes. Another request in the county, Wal-Mart in Wapakoneta, was rejected by voters in precinct 3B by a tally of 63 (55.75 percent) to 50 (44.25 percent).

The ballot featured few contested races outside of those for state central committee. Susan Ranae Lentz defeated Tess Elshoff in the 12th District Women’s Republican Central Committee race by a slim margin — 1,690 to 1,647 with 992 under votes and two overvotes.

Countywide elected positions saw uncontested primaries and the majority will see uncontested November elections except for one race. Republican incumbent Recorder Christina Lambert will go up against Democrat Anne Hamilton in November. The rest of the county slate, who are unopposed with the exception of possible write-in candidates, includes commissioners John Bergman and Don Regula, Sheriff Al Solomon, Coroner Thomas Freytag, Engineer Doug Reinhart, Prosecutor Ed Pierce, Treasurer April Bowersock and Clerk of Courts Jean Meckstroth.

Voters in Auglaize County also will elect new state representatives and state senators as the county has been divided into two new state House and state Senate districts. David Schooley, a Democrat, will take on Tony Burkley, a Republican, in the race for the 82nd Ohio House District seat. Democrat Ronald Hammons will take on Republican Jim Buchy in the 84th Ohio House District race. On the Senate side, Cliff Hite is scheduled to run unopposed for the 1st Ohio Senate seat as is Republican Keith Faber in the 12th Senate District.

Auglaize County voters did not agree with the state-wide vote for the Republican presidential nominee.

Voters in Auglaize County favored former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 2,764 votes, or 40 percent of the total, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney nabbing 2,176 votes, or 31.6 percent. Former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich received 1,277 votes, or 18.5 percent.

Across the state, Romney and Santorum nearly split the state evenly with Romney winning with an approximately 1 percent edge and the chance to unseat President Barack Obama in November. Gingrich was a distant third.

Voter Lawrence Kennedy backed Romney against Arizona Sen. John McCain four years ago, and stood by him again on Tuesday.

“I think he’s a first-rate guy — very solid and everything, more to the center right than the far extreme,” said Kennedy, 74, a retired college professor from the Columbus suburb of Dublin. “I think he has the best shot.”

No Republican nominee has reached the White House without carrying the swing state. Obama carried Ohio in 2008, after the state went for George W. Bush in 2004.

Auglaize County fared fairly better with voter turnout than at the state level for the Super Tuesday election.

Auglaize County voters went to the polls at a 26.3 percent rate while Ohio voters went to the polls at a 25 percent clip. Precincts saw 8,080 votes cast of the 30,845 registered voters in the county.

Results posted by the Secretary of State’s office show the turnout was just more than 25 percent Tuesday.  More than 1.9 million of Ohio’s 7.7 million voters cast a ballot.

Nearly 3.5 million Ohioans cast a ballot in 2008 for the presidential primary that clinched the GOP nomination for John McCain and gave Hillary Rodham Clinton a much-needed victory on the Democratic side. The turnout rate for that election was 44.5 percent.

— Staff Writer William Laney and The Associated Press contributed to this story.