Wood County Commissioners
Ted Bowlus - Republican
Ted Bowlus has served as the Wood County Commissioner for four years, and is running for re-election as the incumbent and Republican candidate. Prior to his position, Bowlus was the past president of the Wood County Board of Health and a member of the Eastwood Board of Education. Currently, Bowlus is developing the Focus on the Future Committee, which will research the current pandemic and the risk of future viruses. His main priorities include regulating the county budget, keeping tax dollars relatively low and building upon economic growth by creating more job opportunities. His platform is also focused on improving road and bridge conditions through annual funding.
Bruce Jeffers - Democrat
Jeffers, a former two-term Bowling Green City Councilman, is running against Bowlus as the Democratic candidate. Along with City Council, Jeffers has worked as a teacher for 35 years and is a contributing member to the Brown Bag Food Project. He believes that clear and transparent guidance from leadership roles is conducive to stopping the spread of COVID-19. His main priorities include improving the county’s infrastructure by reallocating tax dollars in the budget and investing in sustainable efforts for the environment. He is also focused on establishing economic growth by evaluating corporation tax grants.
Judge of Common Pleas
Corey Speweik - Republican
Attorney Speweik is 42 years old and is running for the Wood County Judge of Common Pleas. He is currently serving as the alternate magistrate on the Walbridge Mayor’s court. According to VOTE411.org, Speweik’s non-judicial legal experience includes “seeing issues from both sides,” as well as “practice in family law, complex civil litigation, mediation and arbitration,” he wrote. He is running for this position because he “wants to help the residents of the county by making sure the legal system is functioning at the highest level possible — without compromise.”
Joel M. Kuhlman - Democrat
Attorney Kuhlman is 39 years old and is running for the Wood County Judge of Common Pleas. He served on the Board of Revisions from 2012 to 2016, where he oversaw property tax appeal cases. According to VOTE411.org, Kuhlman’s non-judicial legal experience includes “representing individuals, businesses, and municipalities in civil, criminal and administrative matters,” he wrote. He is running for this position because he is “committed to making his community the best place it can be to work, raise a family, and go to school.”
Wood County Sheriff
Mark Wasylyshyn - Republican
Wasylyshyn is a 16-year current Sheriff for Wood County and previous officer at Perrysburg Township Police. He received a B.A. at Hillsdale College in 1983. His qualifications include Executive Committee National Sheriffs Association from 2012 to present, Sheriff since Jan. 2005 Board of Director and 2017 Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association President.
According to BG Independent News, Wasylyshyn’s beliefs stand as he is committed to the accountability and transparency of officer patrolling, leadership in the workspace and community, integrity and overall honesty. He wants to increase the mental health services within the jail as well as establishing a stronger relationship with the minority community.
Ruth Babel-Smith - Democrat
Babel-Smith is a retired 25-year lieutenant deputy sheriff, adjunct instructor at Owens Community College and also is an auxiliary officer for the Lake Township Police Department. She is working on a Doctoral degree at BGSU, and she has received a Masters in Criminal Justice from Tiffin University and Bachelor of Fine Arts from BGSU. “My main goal and policy is always public safety above politics,” Babel-Smith said in an interview with the BG Independent News.
In a paid political advertisement, her plan is said to consist of promoting an atmosphere of transparency and accountability to the citizens, evaluate staffing levels within the Sheriff’s office, review the jail expansion plan, create an atmosphere of trust and respect and reestablish a working relationship with mutual respect between all law enforcement agencies.
There will be two tax issues appearing on the 2020 primary election ballot for Wood County voters this year. Both are tax levy renewals which can be voted for or against, or voters can choose to abstain. A majority affirmative vote is necessary for the passage of either issue.
This proposed tax levy renewal is to maintain the funding the library receives through taxes. For every $100, the tax will take 8 cents. If the renewal passes, it will run for six years starting in 2021, and the first due will be in 2022.
This proposed tax levy renewal is to maintain the funding for Wood County public health services. For every $100, the tax will take 5 cents. If the renewal passes, it will run for 10 years starting in 2021, and the first due will be in 2022.