Several Portage County candidates drop out of races

by MIKE SEVER | RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published:

The Republican primary race to nominate for Portage County commissioner has thinned, and new Coroner Dean DePerro won't face a primary challenge after all.

On Feb. 19, Jack Groselle, a former county commissioner and current Hiram Township trustee, withdrew from the ballot. He had promised to withdraw if he didn't win the bid to fill the final year of Tommie Jo Marsilio's term.

Republicans picked Sabrina Christian-Bennett, a Rootstown businesswoman, for the unexpired term and she has filed to seek the full four-year term.

Groselle's withdrawal was followed by Lawrence Lohman of Rootstown, Joel J. Petkovich of Ravenna, Ken Lewis of Ravenna Township, Kathy Karg of Brimfield and Larry Solark of Shalersville, who all left the GOP race.

That leaves Christian-Bennettand Kristin Kline Morris of Garrettsville on the May 6 Republican primary ballot for county commissioner.

On Feb. 21, Dr. Steve Dean of Ravenna withdrew his name as a candidate for county coroner, leaving Dr. Dean J. DePerro of Kent as the only candidate.

DePerro unanimously was selected by the Democratic Party Central Committee to serve out a year of the term left by the retirement of Dr. Roger Marcial. His name will go directly to the November general election ballot. No Republicans filed for the post.

Any other certified candidates who withdrew by Feb. 25 also will be removed from the primary ballot, but any who withdraw after will remain on the ballot, but won't have their votes tallied.

Independent candidates can file for the fall election until May 5.

Meanwhile, Democrats will choose in the primary between builder Angelo A. Battaglia and current Portage Treasurer Vicki A. Kline for county commissioner.

Seeking the probate judgeship, from which Judge Thomas Carnes is retiring, are Democrats Bob Berger of Deerfield and Thomas J. Freeman of Kent and Republicans David Brode of Garrettsville and Jonathan P. Jennings of Ravenna. The winners will square off in November.

There are no primary races for a Common Pleas Court judgeship being vacated by John Enlow, who is retiring at the end of this year. Democrat Eugene L. Muldowney and Republican Becky Doherty will face off in November.

And there's no primary for county auditor, where Democrat Christopher J. Mallin and Republican incumbent Janet Esposito go directly to the November ballot.

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