Defiance County Auditor Marlene Goodwin, a Republican, is withdrawing her name from the May primary ballot.
Goodwin would have been seeking her sixth, four-year term this year.
Her departure opens the way for fellow Republican deputy auditor Jill Little, a long-time employee of the auditor's office, who will be unopposed in the May 6 primary. No Democrat has filed for the position in the May primary while Independents have until 4 p.m. May 5 to file for the November general election.
"This was not an easy decision for me, but it was made easier because my deputy auditor Jill Little has worked with me to be sure that our office will be well represented in the future," Goodwin stated in a news release announcing her decision. "As I weighed the decision she also filed for the position."
Goodwin, 64, was first elected to the auditor's post in 1994, before winning four subsequent elections.
"I have loved the challenges of the position, and I want to thank the citizens of Defiance County for allowing me to serve them as county auditor over the last 20 years," said Goodwin, who also served as a deputy auditor for eight years and was once an Ayersville Local Board of Education member. "My career in public service has truly been a rewarding experience.
"I am very proud of the job I have done during my 28 years in the auditor's office, and I hope that the citizens of this community know that I worked hard every day to represent them fairly in accordance with Ohio law," Goodwin added. "I am also very thankful that former Defiance County Auditor Verna Coleman gave me opportunities for professional development before encouraging me to run for the position because in a small county it is absolutely critical that the county auditor have a great understanding of every duty within the office.
"I have also continued to educate myself and my staff so that we could be experts in the affairs of the office. I am one of a handful of current Ohio county auditors who has achieved my assessment administration specialist designation with the International Association of Assessing Officers. Jill Little has also been working toward this designation the last couple of years to become very knowledgeable of the unique mass appraisal process which is administered by our office. Little also has accomplished the Government Finance Officers Association's detailed course work for financial statements."
Also, noted Goodwin: "I do hope that the citizens of this county will continue to demand competency, experience and professionalism from their elected officials. For me, there has been no greater honor than being elected by the voters of this county and to have been able to serve the citizens of this community for so many years. Thank you to everyone, and while it is hard to leave, I look forward to beginning a new chapter in my life."