One Democrat challenging Republican Warren County incumbents in election

Only one Warren County Democrat is challenging the Republican incumbents running for re-election for county-wide seats on Nov. 3.

Bob Stein, 84, of Pleasant Plain is running against four-term Commissioner Dave Young, 53, of Mason, for a commission seat. The office will pay $95,202 a year with annual cost-of-living increases.

Stein, a retired General Electric engineer, said he was running for office for the first time in his life to give voters an alternative to another four years of GOP domination of the county’s highest office.

“His candidacy is about having choices on the ballot for voters who are sick and tired of one-party rule in Warren County, having more and diverse ideas and voices at the table," Bethe Goldenfield, Stein’s wife and chairwoman of the Warren County Democratic party said.

Unopposed, as they were in the GOP primary, are Commissioner Shannon Jones, Coroner Russell Uptegrove, Engineer Neil Tunison, Prosecutor David Fornshell, Recorder Linda Oda, Sheriff Larry Sims, Treasurer Barney Wright and judges Robert Peeler and Joe Kirby. Republican Clerk Of Courts Jim Spaeth, the only countywide officeholder who faced a primary challenge, is unopposed in the presidential election.

Young said he viewed the lack of opposition as “testament that government is actually working.”

The county has about $35 million in reserve funds and expects to cover the cost of the new $57 million jail with a 0.25 percent sales-tax increase. There have been no lay-offs or service cuts due to the continuing pandemic.

“There’s not a big outcry to change things,” Young added. “Financially we are in unbelievably good shape.”

If elected, Stein said he had no definite plans for changes.

“I got tired of seeing the ballot with no options, nobody to vote for but a Republican,” Stein said, expressing frustration at the absence of other Democratic candidates. “We should have one for every open position.”

Stein said his time at GE prepared him for bureaucracy.

“They could never overwhelm me with paperwork,” he said, while suggesting his election would benefit voters.

“It certainly would be nice to have some diversity in the position. Group think is not a good thing,” he said.

“I don’t have any expectations. Providence could wake up some of the sleeping electorate and sweep me into office,” Stein added.

Families for Young reported $849 on hand for the election in June, Bob Stein for Commissioner reported $25 in campaign funds, according to county election records.

At one point in recent years, Young, a business owner and wealth manager, said he was weighing retirement and a move to his Florida home. Now he is building a new home in Deerfield Twp., the fast-developing unincorporated area outside Mason.

“I kind of enjoy what I’m doing, which is making good decisions for the county,” he said. “After 16 years, the people of Warren County know what they are getting from me. If they want me to represent them, fine. If they don’t, that’s OK.”

Election 2020

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