WAPAKONETA — A longtime fiscal officer for Washington Township will become Auglaize County’s next commissioner.
Dave Bambauer won 64% of the vote in the Republican primary against Steve Henderson. The seat will open up Jan. 3 when commissioner Don Regula retires.
John Bergman was uncontested in the primary.
No Democrats or independents filed for either seat, meaning Bambauer and Bergman will be uncontested in November’s general election and win the seats.
Bambauer knows taking the seat will be a challenge, not only because it’s a new position but because of the lasting impacts the new coronavirus will make on local government.
“We need to get this economy going. County and local government depend on the gas tax, which is down from people not driving, and really dependent on sales tax, and people can’t go out and visit stores to buy things,” he said. “It’s going to be really hard on the county budgets across the board — the local and state government, everybody is feeling it.”
However, with his experience, Bambauer is confident he will be able to help turn that around.
“I think I understand how the county government works, being a township fiscal officer. I understand where tax money comes from and how it needs to be spent wisely — that’s what it takes to keep a good county going.”
Without having to worry about the November election, Bambauer said this gives him ample time to focus more on attending the county commissioner meetings for the remainder of the year to monitor how the current commissioners are responding to the economic hardship.
“When January comes, we’re going to hit the road running with what they have done,” he said.
The county saw 21.69% of its voters turn out to vote.