Judicial Race Only Primary Election Contest, Hecht Files For County Auditor

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A judicial election will be the only contested race for Athens County office in the May primary election, and there will only be two in the November general election — assuming no write-in or independent candidates emerge.

Wednesday was the filing deadline to be on the primary election ballot, and a last-day filer was Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht, a Democrat who is running for county auditor, challenging incumbent Republican Jill Thompson. Neither Hecht nor Thompson has any opposition on the May 6 ballot.

Hecht did not immediately return a phone message left by The Messenger on Wednesday. She also serves as chairwoman of the Athens County Democratic Party.

The only contested Athens County race on the primary election ballot will be for the Athens County Common Pleas Court judgeship now held by L. Alan Goldsberry, who will be retiring. Three Democrats — William Biddlestone, Todd Grace and Pat Lang — will be on the ballot, but no Republicans filed.

In another common pleas court judicial election, for the unexpired term now held by Republican George McCarthy, only McCarthy and Democrat Herman Carson filed.

Incumbent Republican Robert Stewart was the only candidate to file for Athens County Juvenile Probate-Court judge.

County Commissioner Lenny Eliason, a Democrat, is unopposed on the primary election ballot, and no Republican filed. Randy Mace, who ran in the previous election for county commissioner as a Republican, had told The Messenger he was considering filing as a Democrat to challenge Eliason, but he did not file by Wednesday’s deadline.

Mace, in a voice-mail message, said he is recovering from knee surgery.

"That and other things going on, I decided this was not the best time (to be a candidate)," Mace said.

There is a contest in the Republican Primary for the Ohio House in the 94th District, with Yolan Dennis of Fleming and Daniel Lantz of Pomeroy vying to be the nominee to challenge Democrat incumbent Debbie Phillips of Albany.

The Messenger had previously reported the candidacy of Dennis, but could not reach Lantz for comment Wednesday. He filed his petitions on the final day.

The deadline for write-in candidates to file for the primary election is Feb. 24, and the deadline for independent candidates to file for the November election is May 5.