The Cardington Community Methodist Church will be hosting a Meet the Candidates Night for those individuals running for offices in the Village of Cardington, Cardington Township, the Cardington-Lincoln School District and Morrow County.
The forum will begin at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the church where Pastor John Carpenter will be moderating. The church is located at 300 S. Marion St., Cardington. The format agreed to will allow each candidate to speak for up to three minutes and receive questions after the conclusion of their speech.
The candidate guide for the evening includes two running for mayor of Cardington, three running for Cardington Village Council, one for Cardington Township trustee, one for Cardington Township fiscal officer, six for Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education, and one for Municipal Court judge.
Troy Ruehrmund, former school board member and current village council president, and Dale Doty, local businessman, are the candidates for mayor. Ruehrmund served on the Cardington-Lincoln BOE for four years and was elected to village council in the 2019 election. Ruehrmund is also a member of the Friends of Cardington, Cardington CIC, Cardington Community Methodist Church Leadership Board, and the Zoning and Planning Commission. Doty has not served in political office before, but he has owned and operated a local lawn care business in the area for several decades.
With Ruehrmund opting to run for mayor, Steve Burton is the only incumbent village council member running for re-election. Burton has served on the village council for eight years and is seeking a third term. Dianne Van Houten and Quinn Maceyko are the two other candidates in the race. Burton is the chair of the village’s Community Improvement, Zoning, and Parks Committee and a member of the Police and Fire, and Buildings, Equipment, and Streets Committee. He also represents the council on the Friends of Cardington. This is Van Houten’s first campaign, while Maceyko served on the Cardington-Lincoln BOE for three-and-a-half years and the Tri-Rivers BOE for six months before resigning to take a position as a consultant at the Ohio School Board Association. He is also the current president of the Cardington-Lincoln Alumni Association. Van Houten is a retired bank teller from First Federal Bank of Ohio in Cardington and volunteers for the local food pantry. Only two seats are up for village council in this election.
Doug Heacock, local farmer, has held the office of township trustee for 18 years and is running unopposed for re-election. Darla Hardwick, the current township fiscal officer, is seeking re-election, too, with no opposition.
The Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education has a complicated race. With Maceyko’s resignation from the school board in June, Matt Longsdorf was appointed to finish his term that expires at the end of December. In 2022, Chad Holt was appointed to the unfilled seat of the 2021 election cycle and that seat is currently up as someone will have to be elected to finish the final two years of the term that expires in 2025, which means four seats are essentially up for election in November.
The five candidates running for the three seats that are up for a full, four-year term are Matt Clinger, Sarah Struck, Chad Holt, Tiffani Susi Cronin and Angela Watkins. Clinger, Struck, and Holt are the incumbents in the race. Matt Clinger, the current BOE president, has been on the school board for four years. He has also held the office of vice president of the board in addition to the presidency, sits on the Cardington Vo-Ag Farm Board, and is Westfield Township zoning chair. In addition to her board work, Struck, elected in 2019, serves as the treasurer for both athletic boosters and music boosters. Holt is seeking a four-year term after the conclusion of his two-year appointment that ends in December. He is the current school board representative for the Cardington-Lincoln Athletic Council. Susi Cronin and Watkins are the non-incumbents and seeking office for the first time. Susi Cronin is the current president of the Pals of Pirates, the elementary and middle school’s PTO. Watkins has been a parent volunteer for the Pals of Pirates and other local groups as well.
Longsdorf, whose appointment expires in two months, is running to finish the unexpired term of the seat that Holt is vacating this December. He is running unopposed for the two-year, unexpired term. Prior to his appointment, Longsdorf has been active in the Cardington community by being involved in the youth basketball, soccer, and softball programs as a coach and volunteer.
Judge Jenifer Murphy Burnaugh has served as the Morrow County Municipal Court judge for the past six years. She is running for a second term unopposed.
Finally, a handful of local issues are on the ballot this fall. The Cardington-Lincoln Public Library is seeking approval for its 1-mill operating levy after it failed by 21 votes last November.
The Village of Cardington is seeking the renewal of its two operating levies, one for 3.9 mills and the other for 2.1 mills, for an additional five years.
Cardington Township is asking for the passage of a five-year, 1-mill replacement levy for roads.
The Morrow County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) placed a replacement levy on the ballot for the county’s voters at the same level of millage, three mills, but at the current valuation.