Candidate Shortage in Oakland City Commission Race

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The presidential and state races will be getting plenty of attention as the countdown begins to next Tuesday night,
but one local community race is a rare situation this election... an empty ballot, something the Warren County clerk says she's never seen.

"It's never happened since I've been here, and I've been here since 2003," said Warren County Clerk Dot Owens.

Owens says three candidates filed as write-ins at the end of September and beginning of October, just before the Oct. 26th deadline.
The catch is even with the write-in filings, there will still be one vacant seat.

"Now of those three... they will pick the fourth commissioner. If they can't agree, then the governor will appoint," said Owens.

Each of the three write-in candidates only needs one write-in vote to get elected. Then they'll have the task of appointing the fourth commissioner, a task that current commissioner John Blubaugh believes will be an easy one saying, "We have never had a problem in the eleven years I have been with the commission to get people to volunteer their service, but this year the deadline to file slipped up on many of us. I don't anticipate having a problem finding a fourth person to fill the position," said Oakland City Commissioner.

Blubaugh says people in the community are typically eager to serve. One write-in candidate says he has been wanting to get involved for some time.

"I'm going to be living in Oakland for a while, and I knew their position was open, so I'll use that position to get to know people in the area, and hopefully be a benefit there," said Oakland City Commission Write-in Candidate Ron Alsup.

Once the three new commissioners are appointed they will have to agree on who to appoint to the fourth seat and if for some reason they can't, the governor will make the appointment.

Two of the three candidates who filed as write-ins, Jimmy Hopkins and John Blubaugh are incumbents.

While Ron Alsup is the only candidate who would be new to the commission. Hopkins says the commission has options in mind for the fourth commissioner, if they should have to appoint someone.

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