Marsha Laubenthal, a six-year election worker for Putnam County, works to scan a voter’s driver’s license during the early-August primaries. (Alex Sabri/Putnam Vidette)
Marsha Laubenthal, a six-year election worker for Putnam County, works to scan a voter’s driver’s license during the early-August primaries. (Alex Sabri/Putnam Vidette)

PUTNAM COUNTY - After just under one month of preparation since the end of registration in early July, Putnam County residents were able to aid in officially sealing the candidates for the November general midterm elections during a special primary election in early August.

Candidates battled for several positions in the Ohio State House of Representatives and the State Central Committee during yesterday’s primaries. The Ohio House seat for the 82nd District will either be held by Republican candidate Roy W. Klopfenstein or uncontested Democratic candidate Magdalene Markward. Klopfenstein won just above 1,800 votes in yesterday’s primaries, more than 3 1/2 times the amount of his Republican counterpart, to take 78.72% of the total vote distribution.

Putnam County officially became a part of its new district after a change in legislative maps by the Ohio Redistricting Commission in late February. It was movedinto the same district as nine other counties, including Defiance, Paulding, Williams and parts of Logan.

Klopfenstein has served as Paulding County Commissioner since 2013. He was a member of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency as a State Committee Member, according to his website. Penner worked as the Defiance County Fiscal Officer and as an attorney and Certified Public Accountant before declaring for the Representatives race, according to the Van Wert Independent.

Republican Majority Whip Robert McColley ran unopposed for State Senator in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. He will remain in office for what will be his second term representing Putnam, Van Wert, Hardin and Paulding County, among others. The Napoleon native previously worked as a state representative for then-District 81, working on the “Government Accountability and Oversight,” “Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission” and Civil Justice committees at the beginning of the 2017 legislative session, according to Ballotpedia.

Voters had the opportunity to select one man and one woman from both the Democratic and Republican parties to seat the Ohio State Central Committee for the 1st District. Two Republican candidates, James Horton and Tony J. Schroeder, as well as two Democratic candidates in Charles A. Bakle and Andrew VanHorn, worked to unseat incumbent Republican Robert E. Campbell. Two Republicans, LuAnne Cooke and Haydee Sadler, and one Democrat, Eve Gray, battled Republican incumbent Gina R. Campbell for her spot on the committee.

Robert Schroeder managed to unseat Campbell for the 1st District spot on the State Central Committee. Schroeder scored 82.19% of the total vote, earning 1,463 votes more than the other two candidates combined. He will face VanHorn for the men’s seat on the committee, who won his primary election by a mere nine votes over Bakle.

Gray will take on Gina Campbell for the second committee seat. Campbell took one step closer to keeping her seat with a total of 1,017 votes, taking 50.15% of the vote against Cooke and Sadler.

From 5:30 a.m., a full hour before in-person polls officially opened, a crew of retired teachers and volunteers thrift store employees, among others, worked to set up voting stations and more before welcoming the hundreds of Putnam residents who made the trip to the county’s two voting locations during their 14-hour shift. Over 250 voters turned in their ballots at both locations since 2 p.m. yesterday, 180 of them in the Putnam County YMCA.

Though hundreds passed through Ottawa and Glandorf to place their vote in the primaries, election worker Karen Warnimont said at least 1,000 voters made the trip to the Glandorf location alone in previous general elections.

Of the more than 23,000 registered voters in Putnam County, over 5,400 registered Republican and over 1,200 registered Democrat, according to the Board of Elections. Just under 17,000 registered no party affiliation and 13 registered Libertarian.

Putnam County residents can view election results at PutnamSentinel.com or on the Putnam Board of Election's website.