Voter Guides

Voter Guide,
Early Voting Starts Today, 2/19/2020,
for the Primary on March 17, 2020

This is the first day of early voting.  Follow the link to see the specific hours.

Set aside some time today to learn about the candidates and issues on your ballot using our online voter guide,

Special kudos to Charlie O’Keefe for his work on Vote411 this season.

All judicial races are covered by Judicial Votes Count (JVC).  Look for a direct JVC link to the Licking County races within your Vote411 ballot page.

Democrats will see a handful of races listed but only these have candidate responses:

  • President
  • Ohio House District 71
  • Representative to Congress District 12
  • Judicial Races (uses the JVC link)

The list of races on the Republican side is much longer, but most were either not contested or no candidates have yet responded. 

Here is a list of the races where you can find information on at least one of the Republican candidates in each race:

  • President
  • Licking County Commissioner, (01/02/2021)
  • Licking County Sheriff
  • Licking County Treasurer
  • Judicial Races (Use the JVC link)
  • Representative to Congress District 12

Democrats can see the information on Republican candidates (and vice versa) simply by selecting See All in Vote411 or the party in question. For the first time, we offered coverage of local issues, but only three districts took advantage of the opportunity to explain their rationale to the voters.  If you live within these entities will you see the Vote411 coverage of: 

Heath Property Tax Renewal and Bond Issue

Lakewood Bond Issue

River View Local Schools

I know that you folks know the old drill:  first educate yourselves then vote.  And now there is a third step: 

Tell everyone you see about Vote411 ! Rita

Voting in the 2019 General Election

                Don’t face that voting machine unprepared!  Candidates nights are scheduled in Newark, Buckeye Lake Village, and Granville, and there is really no substitute for hearing from candidates face to face.

                At, you can find a voter guide for the races in Licking County.  Collected by the League of Women Voters of Licking County, the information there includes biographical details, photos, and responses to questions.  Compare candidates side by side on the screen to assess their education, experience, and opinions.

                The League invited participation from all Licking County candidates in contested races.  Many races were not contested, of course, and many of the candidates we invited did not participate, but around 50 candidates did submit data including most of the write-in candidates.  Although issues on the ballot this fall include numerous local levies or bond issues, none are covered in this voter guide.

                The site is easy to use.  Go to  Click on Find What’s on Your Ballot.  You will need to enter your residential address and then select your “city” from a drop-down menu before continuing to Go to my Races.

                One of Licking County’s most important races this November, Municipal Court Judge, is also not covered in the voter guide.  The go-to site for that race is Judicial Votes Count.  Click on your county to read the profiles.  This site also depends on candidates’ choosing to communicate with voters through this medium (or not), and the last time I looked, only one of our two candidates had submitted his information.

                Notable this year across the county is the number of write-in candidates.  The races for Mayor in Hebron, and for Township Trustee in Granville and Maryanne are all populated by write-in candidates.  How will that work exactly, especially with our new voting machines?

                First, voters need to understand that write-in candidates have to be certified by the Board of Election in order to be counted.  Any name written on a ballot but not certified (including that perennial favorite Mickey Mouse) will not be counted.

                Second, the list of certified candidates will neither be listed on the ballot nor posted at the polling site.  Voters are always welcome to bring their own list of candidates.  If you cannot remember your choices and forget to bring your list, ask a poll worker to see the list of certified names. You may take it to the voting machine and then return it to the poll worker.

                Third, at the voting machine, your will ballot will have a button that says Write-in.  Press it to activate a keyboard where you will type your choices.  Poll workers are always happy to assist anyone who has a question or problem with the machines.

                Above all, don’t fail to vote.  Employers must allow workers a reasonable amount of time to leave and then return on election day.  If your job makes even a brief excursion difficult, then please vote early in person right up to November 4th and including some opportunities on the weekend.  Check out the available times on the LickingCounty Board of Elections website.

                This “off year” election will not draw the large turnout that we will see next year with the Presidential race, but that is a shame because local levies have a great impact on the schools and social services directly impacting our communities.  Also, we are electing public servants whom we may actually meet afterward in our communities, both to thank them for their service and to hold them accountable for campaign promises.  That is not true of other officials who seek our vote. 

Do take the time to get informed and then get to the polls. 

General Election is
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
6:30 am – 7:30 pm

In-person Early Voting is
October 8 – November 4, 2019
at the Board of Elections

Get all the details for Licking County, Ohio at:

Rita Kipp, President
League of Women Voters of Licking County

Our voter guide is now live!

  • Go to
  • Click Find What’s on your Ballot. Then enter your residential address.
  • Look for drop down menus – separate ones for towns and school districts.

Please help get the word out about this great resource.  Attached is a poster that you can print and post on any bulletin board you commonly pass: at your gym, church, ice cream shop, community center

Who’s Running for Judge?

Not sure who to vote for when it comes to judicial races? Get to know who’s running before you cast your vote.

Candidate, issues forum to be held October 22, 2019 at 6:30 PM 1 min read

The Granville Area Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters of Licking County will jointly host an informational Candidate and Issues Forum from 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the Granville Schools’ Middle School Little Theater on New Burg Street.

Granville Township Trustee candidates, candidates for Granville Township Fiscal Officer, as well as candidates for the Granville School Board will be invited to participate in the Forum which will be moderated by Granville Chamber Board Chair Jenny Morehead and League of Women Voters President Rita Kipp.

Each candidate will be afforded time for a brief opening statement and will be asked to respond to one or more prepared questions from a list of questions provided to them in advance. Candidates will also have the opportunity to briefly rebut the answers provided by their competitor(s). There will also be presentations and information relating to the Tax Levy – Renewal – Granville Public Library, as well as the Tax Levy – Replacement – Licking County Senior Citizens Services – both of which are issues on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Please understand that this is not a debate format. Rather, the intent of this forum is to allow candidates to share their own perspective and positions on key issues important to voters and to provide non-partisan education and information so that our local electorate is well informed about the upcoming election and ballot issues.

You can help us to identify the questions you want the candidates to answer by submitting your preferred race specific question(s) to Steve Matheny at the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce via email to or via regular mail to P.O. Box 603, Granville, OH 43023.

The Chamber and the League of Women Voters will jointly review all questions received and reserve the right to edit or modify same for clarity and/or brevity. Please submit your proposed questions no later than Friday, Oct. 4. Thank you in advance for your interest to be an informed voter — we look forward to seeing you at the Forum!Read or Share this story:

May 7, 2019 PRIMARY –

COUNCIL-at-Large – City of Newark

Vote for not more than 3 – Term commences 1/1/2020

Candidate information from

Bill Cost, Jr.

Biographical Info:

Mailing Address: 786 West Main St. Newark, OH 43055

Campaign Phone: (740) 345-0001


Campaign Email:

Current job (10 words): Owner, Bill Cost Jr. Photography.

Education (30 words): Graduate of the Ohio State University, 1976. Graduate of Granville High School, 1973.

Work experience/qualifications (60 words): Owner of a small business in Newark for 43 years. For the last 8 years, I have had the honor of serving on Newark City Council. Working together we have accomplished a great deal for the City of Newark. I am asking for the opportunity of continuing to serve our community.


Q: What is the biggest problem facing Newark today, and how would you address it?

A: Improving general living conditions for the citizens of our community. Specifically, I am referring to access to safe, affordable housing for lower and middle income. I also feel we need to find a way of offering public transportation. With all of the improvements that have been made in Newark, I think we will need to address these issues in the same manner that we have other challenges, with people working together, allowing both public and private groups to accomplish a great deal more than they could separately. These goals can be achieved and our city will continue to improve.

Q: Is the current balance of revenue sources ideal for ensuring Newark’s financial health in the long term? If not, how would you adjust the municipal income tax, and what changes would you advocate in the ways that state, county and other revenues are collected and allocated?

A: Most challenges that local government face have to do with having enough funds. Our income tax funds have improved over the last two years with the upswing of the local economy. What else has helped is that our city is running its operation in a very conservative fiscal manner. We are very fortunate to have directors of our city departments who work to stay within budget. Another positive factor is that the city has been able to secure grants that help with the bottom line. One major challenge has been that the state has taken back funding that was counted on in the past. Hopefully those funds will come back to local municipal governments in the future.

Q: What is the best way to attract and retain jobs in Newark?

A: Our goal is to make Newark a place that people want to live, work, play, and raise a family. Let’s continue to improve conditions that bring good jobs and business growth. Let’s continue to offer great educational opportunities and job training. Let’s continue to make Newark a city that offers opportunities for everyone.

Daniel Crawford

Biographical Info:

Mailing Address: 163 S. 2nd St Newark, OH 43055

Campaign Phone: (740) 349-1824


Campaign Email:

Current job (10 words): I work as a Manager-in-Charge, Front End Coordinator, and/or Cashier at Giant Eagle in Heath.

Education (30 words): I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Government with Minors in History and Public Administration (Ashford University – 2013)

Work experience/qualifications (60 words): I’ve worked since I was about 16 years old. I have been in fast food, warehousing, retail, general cleaning, and temporary work. I have also been active in our community from local organizing to Chairing the Freedom School of Licking County, and I served on the Charter Review Commission in 2017.


Q: What is the biggest problem facing Newark today, and how would you address it?

A: The biggest problem facing the City of Newark is the same as what you see throughout our state and country: a lack of representation for the working class. The disconnect between our City Government and Newark’s working class (which encompasses all citizens who need to work for a living, depending on each paycheck) is painfully obvious when you observe the decision-making process in Council Chambers. A few years ago, I spoke at a Council meeting about the need for full-time, living wage job creation during a discussion about the Thornwood Crossing development. Mayor Hall’s response was that our concern wasn’t about whether jobs were “part-time” or “full-time”, but that they were at least jobs being created. That mindset teaches the listener that our local government cares more about positive statistics than the real-life results buried thereby. If elected, you can guarantee that I will not settle for “any job creation”. I want REAL job creation. The working class deserves nothing less.

Q: Is the current balance of revenue sources ideal for ensuring Newark’s financial health in the long term? If not, how would you adjust the municipal income tax, and what changes would you advocate in the ways that state, county and other revenues are collected and allocated?

A: Unfortunately, the State Legislature and former Governor Kasich did a number on municipal governments throughout this state. They raided the Local Government Fund to pay for tax cuts for Ohio’s wealthiest and then the State turned around and decided that local governments will soon no longer be in control of their own tax collection. Even without this interference from the State, our revenue stream is wholly inadequate. For a City which claims that it wants to grow, we are not making the investments in our infrastructure and safety forces which are essential to serve our community AS IS. What this means, brace yourself, is that we need to have an honest discussion about the unsustainability of our current rates. We can NOT maintain this City dependent on grant dollars from the State and Federal governments. We need to make the budget easier to understand for Newark’s average citizen so that they can see the need for more revenue for themselves. Creating living wage jobs will help too.

Q: What is the best way to attract and retain jobs in Newark?

A: Our streets have been neglected for far too long, so it is imperative that we raise revenue to initiate a City-wide repaving project at more than the snail’s pace we’ve been seeing. It will be difficult to attract or retain any jobs without addressing the infrastructure crisis on our hands. We must also deal with the lack of reliable and AFFORDABLE public transportation so that prospective employers can be connected with the vast potential for labor (and customers) which remain untapped due to the lack of mobility among our citizens. There is also the issue of crime, which is itself a product of the rise of desperation in our community. People are struggling to afford their rent and are being driven into that unenviable condition of homelessness. If we want to deal with crime AND homelessness (and we should not conflate the two) then we absolutely must invest in better services, staff our safety forces, and aspire to create jobs which will make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Seth Dobbelaer

Biographical Info:

Mailing Address: 977 Grafton Rd Apt 8 Newark, OH 43055

Campaign Phone: (740) 706-0788


Campaign Email:

Current job (10 words): Owner/Operator – Charlie’s Apples and Loaned Executive – United Way of Licking County

Education (30 words): Homeschooling was a beneficial educational opportunity that supplemented traditional learning with the freedom to spend time volunteering.

Work experience/qualifications (60 words): Through my work with numerous organizations in, and around our community I’ve developed a deep understanding of the problems facing our city. For those reasons, combined with a strong work ethic, I believe I’m uniquely qualified to help lead our city forward.


Q: What is the biggest problem facing Newark today, and how would you address it?

A: It’s difficult to select a single issue as the largest in the city when there’s no shortage of areas that need attention. To highlight one, it would be homelessness and the situations that cause families and individuals to fall into hard circumstances. The rate of homelessness in Newark is something every leader should be taking seriously. Successful outcomes to this issue will take drastic steps, and we need participants from all area’s to provide the resources for solutions. We need to transition Newark’s homeless population to stable housing units by creating low-barrier housing with state/local sponsored programs. The dollars for these programs should come from state, county, and local funds while leveraging public/private partnerships. Solutions require coalitions across the city to tackle the problem together – government, non-profit, faith community, and business. I’ll work to bring as many people to the table as possible to create solutions for those affected by homelessness.

Q: Is the current balance of revenue sources ideal for ensuring Newark’s financial health in the long term? If not, how would you adjust the municipal income tax, and what changes would you advocate in the ways that state, county and other revenues are collected and allocated?

A: In short – no. The city is always in need of more tax revenue because greater tax revenue equals higher quality services. However, our top priority should be to make sure every single dollar being spent is going out at the right time and to the right source before we go to the voters for a change in taxation. In the unfortunate case of a suggested income tax increase, we would need to make sure that extensive public input is gathered by canvassing neighborhoods, holding public forums, and inviting the residents to city hall to share their concerns. The best thing that could happen to city finances is for leaders at the state level to restore the $1 billion local governments have lost over the last nine years in cuts to municipal funds. That starts with our local leaders calling on our state leadership for a change in policy to begin and shift those dollars back to communities like Newark.

Q: What is the best way to attract and retain jobs in Newark?

A: Ensuring we have a job-ready workforce needs to be a top priority. In Newark we’re fortunate to not only have access to traditional four year colleges, but we also have a huge resource in the form of C-TEC (Central Ohio Technical College) and OSU-Newark. Both institutions provide job ready training at a reasonable cost in less than four years. Our community can do a better job ensuring our k-12 students are aware of and encouraged to explore career paths leading toward in-demand trade jobs, certifications in the medical field, and so much more. This route of education not only provides skilled job capabilities, but having a well prepared workforce also attracts employers and investments that we need in Newark and Licking County.

Jen Kanagy

Biographical Info:

Mailing Address: 2584 Upland View Court Newark, Oh 43055

Campaign Phone: (740) 503-4787


Campaign Email:

Current job (10 words): RN. I resigned my positions in Columbus. I felt it was important to work in the community I serve.

Education (30 words): I graduated from Berne Union high school with 70 of my closest friends. I then earned my degree in nursing and have loved my career choice.

Work experience/qualifications (60 words): I have been serving the public for 25 years as a registered nurse. I am co-captain of the Newark Homeless outreach where we work in the community. I have my finger on the pulse of the needs of Newark. I see many areas that could be improved. I have ideas to improve peoples lives, and the city.


Q: What is the biggest problem facing Newark today, and how would you address it?

A: We have many problems like funding, infrastructure, jobs, housing and public transportation. It is hard to pinpoint one issue as they are tied together. To start, I think as a city we can provide the same great public transportation options Zanesville and Lancaster provide. We can provide fixed route busing between the 3 college campus’s to bring students and business to our newly renovated downtown. We can give folks options to get to the business’s on 21st to shop or get to LMH. We can provide fixed route busing to bring workers to the Industrial Parks, and jobs on the west side of Newark. I know people who have walked 2 hours one way to get to a job, and we can do better than that as a city. I think as a city we can do better than a median rental cost of $900+ dollars. Families working 2 jobs at minimum wage need affordable housing. We have to make sure we have options for struggling families, and make sure our housing mix remains equitable while maintaining property value.

Q: Is the current balance of revenue sources ideal for ensuring Newark’s financial health in the long term? If not, how would you adjust the municipal income tax, and what changes would you advocate in the ways that state, county and other revenues are collected and allocated?

A: Our revenue source is not ideal. It seems every year we struggle to find money to pay our safety forces and take care of our roads and bridges. I think the first thing we have to do as a city is demand the state give us the 2 Million they took away. Some say it has trickled back into the community through grants, but I feel we could be better stewards of this money at the local level. The state is sitting on a $2 billion dollar rainy day fund, and I have to say, it is a monsoon in Newark. Gov Kasich also changed the way cities collected taxes, and when I spoke with Mrs. Jobes, that was going to be a loss for Newark as well. At this time, I know as a resident of Newark, I pay school tax, Newark tax, Granville tax, property tax, gas tax, special tax and so on. I do not feel I could ask tax payers to pay more in income tax. We have to bring innovative new business into Newark, and prepare the city for future automated jobs, all while improving folks everyday life. We are ready.

Q: What is the best way to attract and retain jobs in Newark?

A: Again, I think this goes back to transportation. In the transportation study that was done the amount of individual families that only had one car, or no car was staggering. Just like the point in time count, that showed Newark had 300 homeless children according to HUD rules, is staggering. We have to be able to provide public transportation for parents to get to jobs, and support their families. It is reported that when Amazon scouts a location for a warehouse or headquarters, the first thing they look at is available public transit. Lyft is just not an affordable way for our citizens to get to work on a daily basis. I have talked to Veterans who can not attend their medical visits, because they don’t have transportation. The county system is not user friendly for folks that need to use it often. I think business’s are looking east of Columbus into bedroom communities like Newark, but if they can’t find workers with adequate transportation, they won’t settle here in Newark.

Board of Elections Access

Licking County Board of Elections

Election Information LINK:

Licking County Municipal Court Judge

Vote for not more than 1 – Term commences 1/1/2020

Matthew George (R), Newark

James E. Hood (R), Reynoldsburg

Deborah G. Lang (R), Newark

Philip L. Proctor (D), Newark

Max Sutton (D), Newark