Defiance County voters will have an opportunity to acquaint themselves with Republican Party candidates for the March 17 primary during two public events this month.

The first is scheduled from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday in Sherwood in the Justin F. Coressel community room of the Sherwood Branch Library, 115 N. Harrison St.

The second event this month — scheduled in Defiance — is tentatively set for 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Elks Lodge, 1760 Jefferson Ave.

Saturday’s event in Sherwood is being organized by Sherwood village officials.

A letter sent to the candidates by new Sherwood Mayor Jack Stantz — elected in November — invites the candidates to the Meet the Candidates Day.

“This is a public event to give Sherwood businesses and residents a chance to personally get to know the candidates and seated officials,” the letter stated. “Conversation and discussions are encouraged.”

The event will be informal, according to the village, with attendees able to speak with candidates randomly. Formal presentations from each candidate are not planned.

The Feb. 27 candidates forum in Defiance is being organized by the Defiance County Republican Party Central Committee. As such, contested candidates in the GOP’s March 17 primary will be the focus.

Six candidates are running in the two Republican primaries.

David Kern, Otto Nicely, Patty Schafer and Joe Schindler are the GOP’s candidates for the county commissioner seat now held by Gary Plotts, who is a sheriff candidate.

Plotts is challenging incumbent Doug Engel — the county’s first-term sheriff — for the Republican nomination on March 17.

The winner of the four-candidate commissioner race will face Democrat Diane Mayer in November. She is unopposed within her party.

No Democrats have filed for the sheriff’s position.

In the second county commissioner race this year, Republican Mick Pocratsky is unopposed for his party’s nomination in March. In November, he will face Democrat John Hancock who also is unopposed for his party’s nomination.

(The third county commissioner seat will be on the ballot in 2022.)

Seven other Republican incumbents also are unopposed in the March 17 Defiance County primary, and will face no opposition from Democrats in November. They are Treasurer Vickie Myers, Recorder Cecilia Parsons, Engineer Warren Schlatter, Prosecutor Morris Murray, Clerk of Courts Amy Galbraith, Common Pleas Judge Joseph Schmenk and Juvenile/Probate Judge Jeff Strausbaugh.

Independents still have until 4 p.m. March 16 to file for the November ballot, while write-ins face an Aug. 24 filing deadline. These deadlines apply to any of the county’s races.

Early voting for the March 17 primary will begin Wednesday.

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