Eight local Republicans have thrown their hat in the ring to replace former Highland County Commissioner Shane Wilkin, who was sworn in last week as representative of Ohio’s 91st House District.
Highland County Republican Executive Committee Chair Paulette Donley said Thursday that the Highland County Republican Central Committee, which is in charge of naming Wilkin’s replacement on the commission, will make its decision on Monday, July 2, after interviewing the applicants in executive session.
Following Wilkin’s resignation on Wednesday, June 20, the central committee invited registered Republicans residing in Highland County to submit their resumes, postmarked no later than June 27. The committee has received eight resumes, Donley said, assuming no more arrive in the mail Friday or later with the correct postmark.
On Monday, each applicant will be allowed to address the central committee members. Then they will be asked a set of questions agreed upon by the committee, according to Donley. Committee members will be allowed to ask followup questions if they wish, Donley said.
The committee will remain in executive session for discussion and a vote, then announce the winner, according to Donley.
The winner will be sworn in Thursday at the commissioners’ weekly meeting, which has been moved from its regular time Wednesday due to the Independence Day holiday, Donley said.
Donley said the process was prescribed by a directive from the Ohio secretary of state. The committee was allowed up to 45 days to name Wilkin’s replacement.
“It was so pleasing to see so many qualified people apply for the job, and I have every confidence that whoever is chosen would be a great commissioner for Highland County,” Donley said.
Central committee Chairman Dean Otworth, who was elected to the position at an organizational meeting last month, said he looks forward to selecting the next commissioner.
“We’ll be open and give everybody the opportunity,” he said. “The next step in the process is interviewing and getting the best candidate selected… and, as the Republican Party, getting behind that selection and helping them get elected in November.”
The appointment runs through the end of the year. In November, the GOP appointee will face off against an opponent chosen by the local Democratic Party to fill the remaining two years on the term through 2020.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.