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The Journal Gazette

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  • Rinehart

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018 1:10 am

Republicans capture St. Joe, Perry trustee contests

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Two controversial races for township trustee were decided Tuesday, with incumbent St. Joseph Township Trustee Sarah Gnagy keeping her seat, and Eric Tippmann being elected to the Perry Township post.

Both are Republicans.

Gnagy, 56, defended her seat from Democratic challenger Carol Griffin, 79, who argued in a forceful campaign that the office was rife with mismanagement and secrecy. Gnagy countered, pointing out that state officials have conducted audits, and the township's board approves spending.

Gnagy held a 60 percent to nearly 40 percent advantage over Griffin on Tuesday night, with all but 35 of the county's 292 voting precincts reporting. Neither candidate responded to requests for comment.

Tippmann, an Allen County councilman, pulled out a win in the Perry Township trustee race despite a challenge from Democratic opponent Melissa Rinehart to his residency. He has been living at a home on Lake Avenue – outside Perry Township – so he can more easily take his daughter to dance classes downtown, and Rinehart last week asked the Allen County Election Board to review the arrangement.

The board voted 2-1 Monday to dismiss the complaint, and Tippmann has said he'll move back to his home on Willowind Trail next year, when his term will begin. He will give up his seat on the County Council.

Board members suggested Rinehart could challenge the arrangement in court. She did not return a call from The Journal Gazette on Tuesday. Tippmann also did not respond to an emailed request for comment by press time.

Tippmann, who said in an interview in May he supports eliminating township government, held a 66 percent to 34 percent advantage, with all but 35 of the county's 292 precincts reporting.

The St. Joseph Township trustee position paid $46,310 last year. The Perry position paid about $36,500 in 2017.

In Adams Township, Democrat Denita Washington had slim advantage over Republican Trustee Brian Yoh. Washington had 4,199 votes to 4,120 for Yoh

In Jefferson Township, Lynn Rorick, a Republican, had 444 votes to lead Democrat Julie Nolan with 193 votes.

In Maumee Township, Republican Vicki Thompson's 42 votes led Independent candidate Steven Kammeyer with 27 votes.

mleblanc@jg.net